‘We are living today in a time where we’re decades beyond slavery, we are decades beyond Jim Crow; when one of the greatest risks to our children’s future is their own health,’ Obama said.
First lady Michelle Obama on Monday took her campaign against childhood obesity to the NAACP’s annual convention, where she mixed homespun stories of her youth with a call to action urging members of the African-American community to help fight the epidemic.
Obama called on the standing-room-only crowd of more than 4,000 to help her get African-American children “off that couch and get moving.”
As she pushed her Let’s Move initiative, the first lady said the issue is a “serious” one that “cries out for attention” in African-American communities, because they are being affected the most.
“We are living today in a time where we’re decades beyond slavery, we are decades beyond Jim Crow; when one of the greatest risks to our children’s future is their own health,” Obama said.
“So we need to take this issue seriously, as seriously as improving underachieving schools, as seriously as eliminating youth violence or stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS or any of the other issues that we know are devastating our communities,” she said.
Obama urged parents in the audience to act as role models and push their children to exercise and eat healthier.
“As I tell my kids, dessert is not a right,” she said to laughter.
Later, she added, “No one wants to give up Sunday meals. No one wants to say goodbye to mac and cheese, fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Not even the Obamas, trust me.”
Attendees said they could relate to the first lady’s message and that it would resonate in their communities because it would inevitably involve issues such as education, criminal justice and unemployment, which have been a central focus of the gathering here.
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