Michelle Obama Speaks Out Against Childhood Obesity

In a keynote address Friday, the First Lady stressed family responsibility.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 08: U.S. first lady Michelle Obama arrives to speak during the 'Building a Healthier Future Summit' March 8, 2013 at the Lisner Auditorium of George Washington University in Washington, DC. The first lady spoke on ensuring the health of the nation's youths and childhood obesity.
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Reducing childhood obesity is both "a moral obligation to our children" and "a patriotic obligation to our country," Obama said. After acknowledging the critical role the food industry plays, she circled back to family responsibility. "We would never dream of letting our kids skip going to the doctor or learning how to add and subtract just because they don't like it," she said. "And the same thing is true about eating healthy. We know we have to be firm."

[See Swap This for That: Tips for Feeding Healthy Kids.]

As Obama concluded, often drowned out by applause, she described her vision for healthier, happier families: Walking into any grocery store in America and finding the healthiest options clearly marked and centrally placed. Opening up a menu at any restaurant and knowing "exactly which items will give your family the most nutrition for your hard-earned dollar."

"Just think for a minute what this country could look like," she said. "Imagine our kids begging and pleading, throwing tantrums, to get you to buy more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains—yes! This is possible! It is possible to create this world. And the truth is, it isn't rocket science. We have everything we need right here and right now to make this happen. We just have to summon the focus and the will."