Tuesday, February 26, 2013

First Lady Michelle Obama Talks Let's Move! Progress On 'Good Morning America'

Mrs. Obama announces new recipe project and cooks with acclaimed chef Marcus Samulesson...
First Lady Michelle Obama told Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts that the country is seeing real "movement" on  childhood obesity during an interview that aired on Tuesday morning as part of the third anniversary celebration of the Let's Move! campaign.  Mrs. Obama was joined in studio by acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson, who demonstrated a recipe as Mrs. Obama announced the new "MyPlate Recipe Partnership," a collaboration with five major media companies to flag recipes on cooking websites that promote the government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  (Above, Roberts, Samuelsson and Mrs. Obama in studio)
"We've really changed the conversation in this country," Mrs. Obama said.  "When we started, there were a lot of people in this country who would have never thought that childhood obesity was a health crisis. But now we're starting to see some movement on this issue." 

"Our kids are eating better at school. They're moving more. And we're starting…to see a change in the trends. We're starting to see rates of obesity coming down like never before."

"What we're seeing is that there's hope, and when a nation comes together, and everyone is thinking about this issue and trying to figure out what role they can play, then we can see changes," she said.

The national rate of childhood obesity is currently at about 17%, with one in three American children identified as overweight and obese.  Mrs. Obama's campaign seeks to reduce the rate of obesity to just 5% by 2030, and on Wednesday she begins a three-state tour to celebrate the campaign anniversary.  Her first stop will be in Clinton, Mississippi, where she will spotlight the state's child health initiatives, joined by celebrity chef Rachael Ray.  

Mrs. Obama made her first visit to Mississippi in March of 2010, a month after she launched Let's Move! in February of 2010.

"I'm going back to Mississippi because when I first went there, Mississippi was considered one of the most unhealthy states in the nation," Mrs. Obama said.  

"But the good news in Mississippi is that they've seen a decline in childhood obesity of 13 percent, so we're gonna go celebrate and highlight what has been going on there."

That encouraging-sounding 13% drop leaves Mississippi's combined overweight and obesity rate for children in grades K-5 at 37.3%.  The drop was only reported for white students, and occurred over six years between 2005 and 2011, after the state launched aggressive programs starting in 2006, according to a September 2012 report released by the Center for Mississippi Health Policy. 

Speaking about the "My Plate Recipe Partnership," Mrs. Obama said it will will offer families easy, online access to healthier recipes.  Condé Nast, Hearst Magazines, Meredith, Food Network and Time, Inc. will be "labeling, compiling and promoting" recipes across 18 of their most popular cooking websites, the White House said, including Food Network, Good Housekeeping, Parents, Everyday with Rachael Ray and Family Circle.  There is also a new Pinterest.com page devoted to the project (ALL THE DETAILS).

"More and more chefs, more and more food companies are understanding that they have to find ways to help families do this in a way that's gonna taste good, that kids are gonna like it," Mrs. Obama said. 

A cookbook author and TV personality, chef Marcus Samuelsson owns Harlem's Red Rooster restaurant, and in 2009 was a guest chef at the White House for President Obama's State Dinner for India.  He also joined Mrs. Obama in the Kids' Kitchen at the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll, to demonstrate a healthy, kid-friendly recipe.  On GMA, he demonstrated a beef stir fry and broccolini as Mrs. Obama helped (THE RECIPE).

The First Lady admitted "it's been a while" since she's cooked for her family, thanks to having a staff of pros in the White House kitchen.

"I walk in the kitchen every day, every day," Mrs. Obama joked, and added that she looks forward to the day she can again cook for her husband and daughters. 

The video of the cooking segment:

Mrs. Obama on GMA also discussed Robert's health issues, the constraints of White House life, the President's second inaugural, and how the First Family is handling being in the public eye.

"Going to Target for me is like a dream, you know?" she said.  "That one time I went, you noticed it created a stir. I'm gonna do it again, doggone it. Next four years, I'm going out. I'm breaking out. I'm gonna disguise Bo. I'm gonna put on a coat. I'm gonna take a walk, and my agents won't know a thing. Don't tell 'em," she joked. 

On the Jan. 21 inauguration, Mrs. Obama said: 

"Watching the girls again walk out, seeing the difference in their ages and sizes and their poise and their stature…I tried to take that in.  I spent a little more time on the inaugural stage, looking around, turning around, seeing who was there, appreciating the crowd." 

A video of Mrs. Obama seeming to roll her eyes at House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) while the two dined at the Head Table during President Obama's Inaugural Luncheon went viral on the Internet, and Roberts brought it up. 

"I enjoyed the conversation, had a wonderful time at the lunch. That one shot bore no reflection to how I felt on that day," Mrs. Obama said. 

"It's difficult to interpret, you know, what's going on in a situation by one shot on a camera…it's not an accurate reflection of anyone's emotions on that day." 

Part of the media blitz for the First Lady's anniversary celebration, Mrs. Obama traveled to New York to film the GMA segment last Friday, where she also appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and filmed The Dr. Oz Show.
Mrs. Obama's appearance on The Dr. Oz Show will air this Thursday, the same day Mrs. Obama travels to her hometown of Chicago, where she will be joined by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Olympic gymnasts and tennis star Serena Williams for a Let's Move! event that promotes more physical activity in schools. Later in the day, Mrs. Obama will discuss healthy food choices at a Walmart store in Springfield, Missouri. 

CLICK HERE for all posts about the third anniversary of Let's Move!.  CLICK HERE for all Let's Move! posts.

*Photo & video courtesy of ABC/Good Morning America