RWJF Teams Up with Michelle Obama to Fight Childhood Obesity

By David Cruz

There was applause and a further call to action in Manhattan as the First Lady joined board members and supporters of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which today announced that it is doubling down on its half billion dollar commitment to fight childhood obesity in America.

“Our foundation never once considered backing or giving up, not for a single moment,” said Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey.

Despite evidence that obesity among pre-schoolers is trending downward, one in three school-age kids is overweight and one in six is classified as obese. The implications for health, education and general community welfare are staggering.

“We simply cannot afford to be complacent for one single minute. And that’s really what it means to be a champion on this issue,” said Michelle Obama.

The foundation chose West Side High School Uptown as the site for its event because the school has been aggressively pursuing healthy choices for its students, including healthier menus — student chefs showed their stuff today — banning vending machines and growing its own fruits and veggies.

“And in the coming months we’re going to be talking a lot about everything we’ve achieved through Let’s Move. But we’ll also be doing some challenging because while we’ve come a long way, we still a long way to go,” Obama said.

Despite the positive trends on obesity, nationwide, people of color still lag behind. The obesity rates among this community continues to rise, proof, noted the First Lady, that the struggle to get our health together is far from over.