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First Lady Leads Presidential Delegation at Milan Expo 2015

As part of Let’s Move!, the First Lady traveled to Milan to lead the Presidential Delegation to the Milan Expo 2015, representing our steadfast commitment to a healthier nation. With the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” the Expo is promoting a global dialogue about the future of our food system.

“No matter where in the world we live, we all want healthy, nutritious food for our families,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “I’m thrilled for our Delegation to have this opportunity to represent the United States at this important global event; to discuss shared values and best practices with other participating countries as we continue to strive to support a healthy America.”

Members of the Presidential Delegation include:

  • The Honorable John R. Phillips, United States Ambassador to the Italian Republic and the Republic of San Marino, Department of State
  • The Honorable Douglas T. Hickey, Commissioner General of the USA Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015, Department of State
  • Dr. Risa J. Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
  • Mr. Alonzo H. Mourning, Seven-time NBA All-Star, Member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, and Founder of Mourning Family Foundation
  • Mr. Will Allen, Urban Farmer, Founder and CEO of Growing Power
  • Mr. Mario Batali, Chef, Author and Co-Host of “The Chew”
  • Ms. Carla Hall, Chef, Author and Co-Host of “The Chew”
  • Mr. Nicolas Jammet, Co-CEO, sweetgreen

The USA Pavilion, “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet,” showcases American leadership on global food and development issues, science and technology, climate change, nutrition and health. "American Food 2.0” aligns perfectly with what the First Lady has been sharing around the 5th anniversary of Let’s Move!: there is a shift in our country toward a new norm when it comes to making decisions around our health and nutrition.

140 Countries are participating in Milan Expo 2015, and over 20 million visitors from around the globe are expected at the World’s Fair over six months from May-October 2015, in addition to millions more online visitors.

Through Let’s Move!, a national conversation has been building momentum about how we eat and live in the U.S., and the results are positive:

  • 1.6 million kids are now attending healthier daycare centers where fruits and vegetables have replaced cookies and juice, and more than 30 million kids are eating healthier school breakfasts and lunches.
  • 2 million kids now have a Let’s Move! salad bar in their school.
  • Nearly nine million kids attend Let’s Move! Active Schools where they get 60 minutes of physical activity a day.
  • Thousands of chain restaurants have created healthier kids’ menus, and food and beverage companies cut 6.4 trillion calories from their products.
  • 70 million people now live in a Let’s Move! City, Town or County where kids can walk to school on new sidewalks, participate in a summer meal program, or join a local athletic league.
  • Religious leaders are teaching their congregations about healthy eating through Let’s Move! Faith and Communities; Families are getting active in our national parks through our Let’s Move! Outside initiative; and kids are enjoying healthy eating exhibits at one of the nearly 700 Let’s Move! Museums and Gardens.

Taken together, these changes are starting to have a tremendous impact.

And yet, while in the U.S. - childhood obesity rates have finally stopped rising, and obesity rates are actually falling among our youngest children - globally, the prevalence of obesity has nearly doubled since 1980. Diabetes has increased worldwide by 45 percent in the last two decades, and 42 million children are overweight before they even finish preschool. And to date, not a single country has reversed these obesity trends in a lasting way.

Raising healthy families isn’t just a challenge in the United States – it’s a challenge all over the world. This is why the First Lady couldn’t be more excited for this Expo – to listen, learn, and join others around the world to tackle this problem.

The Presidential Delegation will cook with kids at the James Beard American Restaurant, visit the Pavilions, and meet with other country representatives to share best practices and challenges in our collective work to raise a healthier generation. Stay tuned as we send updates along the way!