The First Lady: Thank you all. Rest. Thank you for braving the
weather and being here. I want to start by
thanking Sam for that very outstanding introduction. We were saying backstage,
don’t you believe him? Good kid, good
— great speaker. And thank you for your
commitment and for being such a great role model. And also, to JoAnne for
the terrific work that you’re doing to help kids
lead healthier lives. I know the work isn’t
easy, but it takes parents like you being engaged. So we are so proud of you
and your entire family. Thank you for
joining us today. I also want to recognize
our outstanding Secretary of Agriculture, Tom
Vilsack, who has been such a great friend and a
leader on this issue. We could not do what we do
without all your work and your entire team. We are so proud of you. We have been working
together from the very beginning, and it is
always an honor and a privilege to see the great
strides that we’re making together. So let’s give Tom a
big round of applause. (applause) And of course, most of
all, I want to thank all of you — the advocates,
the educators, the leaders who’ve been with us from
the very beginning of this journey. As you all remember, back
when we first launched Let’s Move this whole
healthy eating thing was still kind of a novelty. Back then, if a school
grew a garden or installed a salad bar, if
a fast food restaurant started selling a healthy item
or a business offered employees incentives to
exercise more, that was a big deal. Some folks even warned me
that taking on childhood obesity might be
controversial. They thought kids and
parents should deal with these issues privately. Others laughed it off as
not a real issue at all. Well, four years later,
that all seems like ancient history. Today, big chain
restaurants have whole menus of healthy choices. Entire organizations are
working to plant school gardens. And water just surpassed
soda as the most commonly consumed beverage
in America. Yay! Go, water. Drink up. (applause) And today, folks are
really starting to think about what they eat and
how active they are, so they’re scrutinizing
labels; they’re asking questions; they’re
changing what they feed their families. And just as we no longer
smoke or drink when we’re pregnant, just as we no
longer let our kids ride their bikes without a
helmet or sit in the backseat of the car
without a car seat, today, we know that we can no
longer let our kids eat whatever they want,
because now we know better. Now we’ve seen the
devastating effects that poor nutrition has
on their health. And this new approach to
eating and activity is not just a fad, and it’s no
longer just a movement. Instead, here in America,
healthy habits are becoming the new norm. And nowhere is that more
clear than in our schools, which have been a core
focus of Let’s Move right from the very beginning. See, Let’s Move is based
on a very simple idea that parents should be in
control of their kids’ health. And their good efforts
at home shouldn’t be undermined when they send
their kids off to school. Parents have a right to
expect that during the school day, their kids
will have food that meets basic nutrition standards,
and they’ll have a chance to maybe move around a
little bit while they’re there, too. And that’s why we launched
Let’s Move Active Schools. And today, more than
6,500 schools are bringing physical activity back
into the classrooms. And because of the child
nutrition bill we passed back in 2010, today nearly
90 percent of our schools — 90 percent of them —
have already implemented new school
lunch standards. With the hard work of so
many administrators and chefs, nutrition
professionals and others, these schools have literally transformed their menus. They’re serving more
fruits and veggies, more whole grains and
more lean protein. And starting next fall,
they’ll be offering only healthy snacks and
beverages in their vending machines as well. So this is a big deal. And so far, these changes
have been a resounding success. In fact, in a number of
American school districts — places like Dallas,
Orlando, Cincinnati — although they’re not
charging any more for their lunches, they’re
actually making more money because more kids are
participating in the school lunch programs. So we’re making some real
strides in our schools. And that’s why I’m
thrilled to continue this progress with two very
important announcements we’re making today. The first is that we’re
issuing new school wellness guidelines to
help build healthier learning environments
for our kids. And as part of this
effort, we’ll be eliminating
advertisements for unhealthy food and beverages in our schools. Because I think we can all
agree that our classrooms should be healthy places
where kids are not bombarded with
ads for junk food. And these new marketing
guidelines are actually part of a broader effort
to inspire companies to rethink how they market
food to kids in general. Because the fact is,
today, the average child watches thousands of food
advertisements each year, and 86 percent of these
ads are for products loaded with sugar,
fat or salt. And, by contrast, our kids
see an average of just one ad a week for healthy
products like water, fruits and vegetables. Just one. So that’s why we convened
the first ever White House Summit on food marketing
to children, where I urged businesses to stop
marketing unhealthy foods to our kids and do more to get kids excited about healthy foods. And that same principle
should apply to our schools. Our second announcement
today focuses on school breakfast, and I cannot
possibly overstate how important this is, because
right now, millions of children in
this country are showing up for school hungry every day. And too many kids aren’t
eating breakfast even when it’s provided because they
feel like there’s a stigma with participating in the
school breakfast program. And this is happening here
in the wealthiest country on Earth, and
it’s intolerable. And that’s why we’re
expanding our school breakfast program,
ensuring that nearly 9 million kids in 22,000
schools start their day with a nutritious
breakfast. And as you all know, this
doesn’t just affect their health, it affects their
performance in school. In fact, a recent study
showed that kids who eat a healthy breakfast perform
17.5 percent better on math tests, and they have fewer disciplinary problems. So this is critical for
our kids’ future and it’s also critical for the
future of our country — because healthy and
well-educated kids are more likely to become
healthy, well-educated adults who will build a
productive workforce and a vibrant economy for
generations to come. So with these two
announcements today, and the initiatives we’ve
launched these past four years, we are well on our
way to building healthier schools for all
of our children. And I want us just to take
a moment to really think about what this will mean
for our kids in the years ahead. Children born today will
be accustomed to eating healthy food during
the school day. So, for them, the norm
will be fruits and vegetables, and not
chips and candy. And instead of sitting
endlessly at their desks with no breaks, the norm
will be kids up and moving throughout the day — in
gym, in recess, and during breaks in between lessons. And to the extent
these kids are seeing advertisements, those
ads will be for healthy products. So, hopefully, at the
grocery store, they’ll be begging us for items
from the produce aisle rather than the snack food
aisle, because that’s what they’re seeing on TV. And if we keep coming
together and working together, all of this will
be the new norm for our kids here in this country. For our youngest kids,
this might be all they’ll ever know, and these
changes will shape their habits and tastes for
the rest of their lives, including what they buy
and feed their own kids in the years to come. So if there’s anyone out
there who was thinking to themselves, in a few years
this lady will be gone — (laughter) — and this
whole Let’s Move thing will finally be over so we
can go back to business as usual — if you know
anyone out there who might be thinking that way, you
might want to remind them that I didn’t create this
issue and I’m not the one who is truly
driving it forward. All of you are. And that’s really my
message to all of you today: Keep on doing what
you’re doing — because with every healthy
choice you make in the grocery store or at a restaurant,
you’re making a statement about the food you
want for your kids. And while your kids might
grumble at first when you serve them this food, you
know that if you stand firm, they’ll adjust. That’s our job as parents — to hold steady through the whining. (laughter) We do
that all the time. No child wants to brush
their teeth or go to the doctor for shots, but we
make them do those things anyway because these are
the norms for keeping our kids healthy. And healthy eating and
physical activity are really no different. These are becoming the new
norms for raising healthy kids. So we need to keep it up. We need to keep on coming
up with new ideas to get kids excited about healthy
habits, particularly in our schools. So many of you are
leading the way. For example, at Marshall
High School in Virginia, kids actually wrote and
performed a “wrap” song — and that’s “wrap”
spelled with a “W.” And the goal was to get
their classmates excited about healthy eating. And here’s one of the
lyrics that I love: “If I’m gonna help my brain
come to fruition, I’m gonna have to feed
it quality nutrition. We love the cookies but
they’re not sufficient. We need veggies to make
our bodies efficient. Roll my chicken in a wrap,
don’t jam it in a nugget. (laughter) Get hyped for
healthy snacks; fresh food Get hyped for
healthy snacks; fresh food — we love it.” Pretty good. (applause) Holla! Love that. Don’t jam it in a nugget
— not my chicken. This is just one example
of the explosion of good ideas in our schools. And to celebrate the
fourth anniversary of Let’s Move, I am asking
folks across America to get up and show
me how you move. Show me the fun, creative
things you’re doing in your homes, schools and
communities to get kids excited about eating
healthy and being active. Show me how you move. I want you to tweet it,
Facebook it, Instagram
it with the hashtag #LetsMove so that everyone can see how you’re moving towards a healthier future. If we get enough of a
response, we might have a little
surprise from the President and the Vice President. I’m just saying. (laughter) And I ask you
to do this not just to celebrate our progress,
but to motivate us for all the work that
still lies ahead. Because while childhood
obesity rates are beginning to fall, we
still have a long way to go before we solve this
problem once and for all. And that’s what the next
three years will be all about. They’ll be about pushing
forward to reinforce these new norms — because we
have come so far, so we can’t slow down and we
can’t turn back now. So we have to understand
there’s a lot at stake — not just for our kids’
health and success, but for the success of
our entire country. So we need to keep
pushing and innovating and inspiring each other
to do more for our next generation. And if we do that, I am
confident that we can give our kids the happy,
healthy futures they so richly deserve. So I look forward to
working with all of you together. I’m excited to see how
everybody is moving out there throughout
the country. And I can’t wait to see
everything we achieve in the years to come. So thank you all again for
your dedication, and God bless you. Take care. (applause)