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The following questions were answered by First Lady Michelle Obama during an interview with Tom Joyner on “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.”

So we’re here to talk about the “Let’s Move” campaign.

Absolutely. We’ve hit one year, one year working – yes, but working to end childhood obesity, so it has been a very exciting and productive year.

We’ve seen a real fundamental change in the conversation that we’re having in the country not just about our kids, but how we eat as a country and how we grow our food, where we get it. And we’ve just seen so many people from all across the country, every sector stepping up to make some important changes for our kids.

And I can see some of the differences just visiting schools across the country. I was in Atlanta yesterday, this wonderful school where the principal – they’ve got this beautiful garden; and they’ve got fruit and vegetable snacks and health ambassadors, young kids that walk around with little farmer hats and deliver their fruits and vegetables, and kids know about these plants. And they’ve got the butterfly garden … I mean, these are going on in black communities and in urban communities where kids are really getting the message.  And they’re asking their families to make changes.

So, step by step, we’re starting to see some impact.  But we’re still not there.  We got a long way to go.


When are we going to see a change in the lunchroom?

This year.

And we need to eat well, but we also need to move, and schools don’t have P.E.

That’s right. Well, this year, at the beginning of the year, we passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was historic legislation. And I don’t even think I realized the magnitude that we haven’t seen changes or improvements in school lunches in decades. 

And this is the first – many advocates have been pushing to try to get better nutrition guidelines, and this is the first time that we were able to get the Congress to act. So schools across the country, public schools should begin to start seeing the changes and increased standards in the menus, more nutrition education over the next school year.  It’s one of those incremental implementation plans.

But parents should start looking – but people shouldn’t wait to – for legislation to move us on this front because schools have been making changes long before we even started this conversation.

We have some efforts called the U.S. Healthy Schools Challenge that the Department of Agriculture is encouraging schools to join. We want to double the number of schools that participate, and this means that schools on their own are going to be making commitments around improving school lunches and getting nutrition education and ensuring that they reinstate physical education and recess and things of that nature. And we’re seeing those numbers go up.

But parents have to start making noise on the ground. They need to start asking their schools and their school districts, What are my kids eating at lunch? What do snacks look like?  Schools all over the country are starting to plant their own gardens, and they’re using that as tools for education.


You just answered the two questions that were asked in our “Ask the White House” segment on, with Michael Cottman.

That’s a great thing, you all.  That’s wonderful.