White house bound
First Lady, Michelle Obama invited 150 bloggers and other social media influencers from around the country to come to an event at the White House for a discussion about getting kids to eat healthy and exercise.
Local author and blogger, Teri Biebel was one of those who traveled to the East Room to cover the event and report back to Blog Her/ She Knows Media readers, where she is a guest writer. Additionally, Biebel has her own blog called Snarkfestblog and is a contributing writer to several published books.
“The whole point of it was to bring social media influencers, bloggers, writers together to give them information on all of the things the ‘Let’s Move!’ initiative has done so far in the 6 years it’s been in effect,” said Biebel. “Also, to put the word out about it in a positive light-all of the successes and offshoot initiatives. It was an amazing to be included in this experience.”
Representatives from several government agencies, such as Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Agriculture, President’s Council on Fitness and others, as well as guest speakers like former Olympian, Dominque Dawes were on hand to talk about various nutrition issues and to give the statistics about the successes of “Let’s Move!”. The First Lady herself spoke to the crowd about getting her own kids to eat healthy.
According to a statement by Michelle Obama, “After so many years, childhood obesity rates have stopped rising, and rates for our youngest kids have actually started to fall. And I have no doubt that if we keep pushing forward on this issue, one day, we will look back on the food we used to feed our kids and it’ll be like looking back on the days when we didn’t wear seat belts or bike helmets or sunscreen. We’ll be like, ‘Man, can you believe we used to eat that stuff?'”
Since the program’s inception, now 1.6 million kids attend healthier daycare centers, over 2 million kids have a “Let’s Move” salad bar in their school and over 10 million kids attend “Let’s Move!” active schools, where they strive to get 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
There is an off-shoot of “Let’s Move!” called “FNV”, which stands for fruits and vegetables. Many celebrities like Cam Newton, Nick Jonas, and Kristen Bell are promoting the FNV program for free. Even Sesame Street has given licensing permissions for a few of their most popular characters to be used on select packages of fruits and vegetables with the hopes that it will be more enticing to children.
The program has not gone without its share of controversy, however. Many parents and children are complaining that lunch food is wasted because the food is not palatable, “gross” or that there’s not enough of it to satisfy hunger. Students have gone so far as to Tweet photos of unappetizing lunches on Twitter and other social media outlets with the hashtag “ThanksMichelleObama”.
However, the White House maintains that complaints should be directed at school districts instead. The “Let’s Move!” campaign provides tools, resources and suggestions for participating schools, but the decision of what to actually serve rests on local school officials.
After the conference, attendees took a tour of the White House garden and bee hives that were established during the Obama administration.
Biebel says she was very impressed with the First Lady. “She’s striking to look at, she’s in tremendous shape and is so well-spoken. She had us laughing because she is a mom and is really relatable. She’s got teen age daughters and I’ve got teen age daughters. We have shared the same struggles about getting kids to eat healthy, but since she was diligent about nutrition for her girls, now they make better choices all on their own. It was an incredible honor to be there.”
Biebel’s blog can be found online at snarkfestblog.blogspot.com. For more information about the “Let’s Move!” program, visit letsmove.gov.