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Leading by Example

This Wednesday, I had the most exciting day yet in my service at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I attended and participated in First Lady Michelle Obama’s one-year anniversary event for Let’s Move!, the campaign to solve the problem of child obesity in the next generation. The event was a spectacular celebration of the accomplishments of the last year and included a compelling message to parents, children, elected officials and faith and community leaders about what we can accomplish together.  There was incredible excitement in the air at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA as nearly 5000 people came out to join in the celebration.  It was wonderful to see people dancing, singing and being in the spirit of Let’s Move!.

I was so inspired by the First Lady’s words as she talked about the challenge before us and how Americans all over the country are stepping up to combat obesity in children. I was reminded about my own personal experiences as the First Lady shared her story of her grandmother making her and her brother eat green peas with their fast food burgers. This anecdote similar to experiences I had with my grandmother, and the lesson that you need to have a balanced meal is one  that I hope to pass on to my 6 year old daughter, Ashley. It’s important to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and to get plenty of exercise no matter what you do.

The First Lady’s speech reminded me of how important playing in the park, jumping rope and participating in sports is to live a healthy life. We all have a responsibility to the next generation to be more physically active. As adults we have to model that good behavior so our children can in turn do what they see us do. Setting a good example is critical to ending childhood obesity. I am proud to say that I will be working harder to continue setting a better example for my young daughter.

Overall, the Let’s Move Anniversary was a tremendous success celebrating the last year but more so, a great reminder that we must take our momentum and continue to work together so that we can ensure a bright and healthy future for our children.