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Investing in a Healthier Tomorrow

Today, First Lady Michelle Obama joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) at West Side High School in New York City as they announced another $500 million commitment to help kids across the country grow up healthy.

In 2007, RWJF committed $500 million toward efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. Over the past 8 years, there have been signs of progress and increased involvement in efforts to help kids and families lead healthier lives. In order to build on the momentum and further increase the impact, RWJF is doubling-down on their commitment to the issue over the next ten years.

West Side High School represents a great example of some of the healthy changes that have been made over the past few years. The principal has worked hard to create a healthy environment for her students by improving school meals, removing unhealthy vending machines, holding cooking classes, and offering ample opportunities for physical activity.

The First Lady had a chance to tour the school to see firsthand the impressive changes. She stopped by as students were participating in a spin class, which are usually hosted by the principal three days a week before the school day even begins. Then, Mrs. Obama joined students to learn more about their healthy eating programs as they prepared nutritious and delicious smoothies.

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks in support of her "Let's Move!" initiative during a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation event at the Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School in New York, N.Y., Feb. 5, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

This month marks the start of the fifth anniversary of Let’s Move!, and during her remarks, the First Lady announced the theme for this year’s anniversary: Celebrate, Challenge, Champion. She highlighted how much we have to celebrate, from starting a national conversation on this issue to seeing change from many sectors and individuals. She also acknowledged the work that still remains. During this anniversary, we’ll be challenging everyone to do even more to help our kids lead healthy lives. In addition, we’ll be focusing on what it means to be a champion on this issue and have a real impact for the long term.

As the First Lady said, being a champion means “pushing and investing until every child in this country can grow up healthy, no matter where that child is from, or what they look like, or how much money their parents have.”

The First Lady recognized RWJF as a true champion for our kids’ health, and she encouraged everyone to follow suit and make their own commitment in support of kids’ health. Whether you are a teacher, administrator, local elected official, community leader, parent, or business owner, there is something every one of us can do to give our kids the healthy futures they deserve. So join us as we celebrate, challenge, and champion efforts in this next year!