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First Lady Column on Empowering Parents and Caregivers

 As a mom, I know that keeping your kids healthy isn’t always easy. It takes time. It takes energy. And, believe me, I know it takes patience. Sometimes, after a long day, it’s just easier to give in when they ask for a cookie between meals. It’s just easier to grab takeout on the way home.

But I also know how important these issues are to us as parents, how much we care about making sure our kids grow up healthy and strong. And no matter what, it’s our responsibility to make sure they’re eating right and getting enough exercise. We’re the ones who decide what goes on their dinner plate, how much TV they watch, when their bedtimes are. And during our first year with Let’s Move!, we realized that there are things we can do to help make those decisions easier for you.

We’re working to get you the information you need at home and at the grocery store. We’ve worked with beverage companies to help make the number of calories clearer on the label. Walmart, where 140 million people shop every week, has pledged to reduce sugar, salt, and trans-fats in the products on its shelves. A coalition of retailers, food and beverage manufacturers, restaurants, and many other businesses is pledging to remove more than a trillion calories from the marketplace.

And we’ve worked to make sure that you have allies everywhere from the corner store to Capitol Hill. Congress passed legislation to put healthier food in our schools, doctors are screening for obesity at a young age, sports leagues are helping promote physical activity for kids, and faith leaders are focusing the power of their communities toward children’s health.

Hopefully all of this helps to make life just a little bit easier for you. Yes, I know you’re still going to be busy and working all the details out with your kids is going to take some work. But we know that your children’s futures are tied to you – and that’s why I’m so sure we’re going to succeed. If there’s any group of people that this country can depend on to ensure that our kids can reach their dreams, it’s parents. And as we move into our second year at Let’s Move!, and closer to our goal of ending the epidemic of childhood obesity in a generation, I know moms and dads like you will be the ones leading the way.

(Please feel free to distribute this as part of a newsletter, website post, or to attendees of an event or rally.)