United States proposes major update to food labels in bid to combat obesity

Feb. 27, 2014, Reuters

By Tom Clarke

Packaged foods sold in the United States would display calorie counts more prominently and include the amount of added sugar under a proposal to significantly update nutritional labels for the first time in 20 years as health officials seek to reduce obesity and combat related diseases such as diabetes.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Feb. 27 that its proposal would also ensure that the amount of calories listed per serving reflects the portions that people typically eat. That change may result in per serving calorie counts doubling for some foods such as ice cream.

First lady Michelle Obama, who has used her White House position to launch the Let’s Move! campaign to fight childhood obesity, announced the proposal for the FDA. Continue reading

Big Bird, Elmo to encourage kids to eat produce

Nov. 27, 2013, DCA Press

A trip down the grocery store produce aisle could soon feel like a stroll down “Sesame Street.”

Michelle Obama announced that the nonprofit organization behind the popular children’s educational TV program will let the produce industry use Elmo, Big Bird, and Sesame Street’s other furry characters free of charge to market fruits and veggies to kids.

The goal is to get children who often turn up their noses at the sight of produce to eat more of it.

Under the arrangement, Sesame Workshop is waiving the licensing fee for its Muppet characters for two years.

As soon as next spring, shoppers and children accompanying them can expect to see their favorite Sesame Street characters on stand-alone signs and on stickers and labels on all types of produce regardless of whether it comes in a bag, a carton, or just its skin. Continue reading

New initiative encourages water consumption

Sept. 12, 2013, Huffington Post

By Amanda L. Chan

The first lady wants you to drink more water.

On a call announcing Michelle Obama’s newest healthy living initiative Sept. 11, Let’s Move! Executive Director Sam Kass explained that the White House is working with cities, private companies, and public taps to promote the message to “drink up.”

Participating companies include Brita, Poland Spring, Evian, Dasani, Voss and others, which will carry a “Drink Up” logo on their bottles, and participating cities include Chicago, Los Angeles County, Houston and, appropriately, Watertown, Wis., where the first lady is visiting Sept. 12 to kick off the initiative. Continue reading

Michelle Obama says anti-obesity campaign creating ‘cultural shift’ in how Americans live, eat

Sept. 6, 2013, The Washington Post

Michelle Obama said Friday that her anti-childhood obesity campaign is creating a “cultural shift” in how Americans live and eat, and is beginning to have a positive influence on children’s health.

As an example, she cited something she said she couldn’t imagine when the Let’s Move! program was launched nearly four years ago: television commercials pitching fast-food breakfast sandwiches made with healthier egg whites instead of whole eggs.

But the first lady said more work is needed to solve the childhood obesity problem.

“Make no mistake about it, we are changing the conversation in this country,” Mrs. Obama said at a back-to-school event at a District of Columbia elementary school. “We are creating a cultural shift in how we live and eat and our efforts are beginning to have a real impact on our children’s lives.” Continue reading

Michelle Obama announces program to help kids get recommended daily hour of physical activity

Feb. 28, 2013, Newser

By Darlene Superville, Associated Press

Imagine students learning their ABCs while dancing, or memorizing multiplication tables while doing jumping jacks?

Some schools are using both methods of instruction and Michelle Obama would like to see more of them use other creative ways to help students get the recommended hour of daily exercise.

In Chicago yesterday [Feb. 28], the first lady announced a new partnership to help schools do just that. It starts with a website, www.letsmoveschools.org, where school officials and others can sign up to get started. Continue reading

First lady Michelle Obama to embark on national tour celebrating third anniversary of Let’s Move!

Yesterday, Feb. 27, first lady Michelle Obama kicked off a two-day nation-wide tour celebrating the third anniversary of Let’s Move!, her initiative to ensure that all our children grow up healthy and reach their full potential. The tour will showcase progress and announce new ways the country is coming together around the health of our children. Mrs. Obama also traveled to New York City this week to talk about the third anniversary of Let’s Move! on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Good Morning America, and The Dr. Oz Show. Continue reading