The First Lady has taken the issue of America’s obese children head on. Today, she attempts to save the children of Atlanta.
With First lady Michelle Obama winging her way to Georgia, “Coach” Betty Jackson of Atlanta’s Burgess-Peterson Academy prepped for her visit Wednesday the only way she knew how: By ordering the fruit and vegetable snacks that students will eat next week.
“I’m honored,” Jackson said. “It’s exciting she knows about me and Burgess-Peterson Academy. It says what I’m doing for the children is actually working.”
The school’s 240 elementary school students, meanwhile, started the day like they always do, with a “jammin’ minute” of exercise and a healthy eating tip delivered by children chosen to be wellness ambassadors.
Among students’ favorite snacks, Jackson said, are pineapple and strawberries. They’re unsure about tomatoes, she said, as well as avocado “unless it’s in guacamole.” The first lady is scheduled to visit classrooms on campus, as well as tour the organic garden and orchard on school grounds. More than 20 community volunteers spent Sunday sprucing up the garden which, as part of its winter crops, has included squash and broccoli.
Lord knows that Atlanta needs to hear the message that Mrs. Obama is preaching.
Why include Georgia in marking the “Let’s Move” campaign?
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, citing a report issued by the Trust for America’s Health, a nonprofit group that specializes in disease prevention, noted that Georgia has the second-highest rate of childhood obesity in the United States.
Nearly one in three children ages 10 to 17 in Georgia are considered to be overweight or obese, according to the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health, likely because of a combination of poor nutrition and lack of physical activity, and influenced by societal factors including family dynamics, school systems and societal norms.
In turn, childhood obesity can lead to diabetes, high cholesterol and other potentially deadly problems. No surprise, then, that Obama’s program focuses on improving nutrition for children both at home and in schools, and increasing physical activity among school-age kids.
In our opinion the issue of obesity is gravely undervalued, especially in the black community, so it’s good to see The First Lady grab the bull by the horns and take the initiative to bring this issue to the forefront.