Michelle Obama stops the war

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Guest Column By Julie Mason. Guest Column View All. Previous video Next video. I cannot forget that time in my life. I can understand why you worry about your kids.

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I respect you very much. I hope war never happens between our countries. God bless you and all of the mothers in the world. Maryam Howe, an Iranian living in England, believes the Iranian response would be ever greater were it not for government restrictions and fear. We want peace and freedom. I adore you for doing such a beautiful thing by starting this page. Despite restrictions, the Israeli organizers say that in one week, 33, Iranians visited the new website they created, Israel Loves Iran , and the facebook page is peppered with comments from Iranians.

And these days, with parents working longer hours, working two jobs, they don't have time for those family dinners. Or with the price of fresh fruits and vegetables rising 50 percent higher than overall food costs these past two decades, they don't have the money. Or they don't have a supermarket in their community, so their best option for dinner is something from the shelf of the local convenience store or gas station.

So many parents desperately want to do the right thing, but they feel like the deck is stacked against them. They know their kids' health is their responsibility -- but they feel like it's out of their control. They're being bombarded by contradictory information at every turn, and they don't know who or what to believe. The result is a lot of guilt and anxiety -- and a sense that no matter what they do, it won't be right, and it won't be enough. I know what that feels like.

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While today I'm blessed with more help and support than I ever dreamed of, I didn't always live in the White House. It wasn't that long ago that I was a working Mom, struggling to balance meetings and deadlines with soccer and ballet. And there were some nights when everyone was tired and hungry, and we just went to the drive-thru because it was quick and cheap, or went with one of the less healthy microwave options, because it was easy. And one day, my pediatrician pulled me aside and told me, "You might want to think about doing things a little bit differently. That was a moment of truth for me.

It was a wakeup call that I was the one in charge, even if it didn't always feel that way. And today, it's time for a moment of truth for our country; it's time we all had a wakeup call. It's time for us to be honest with ourselves about how we got here. Our kids didn't do this to themselves.

Our kids don't decide what's served to them at school or whether there's time for gym class or recess. Our kids don't choose to make food products with tons of sugar and sodium in super-sized portions, and then to have those products marketed to them everywhere they turn. And no matter how much they beg for pizza, fries and candy, ultimately, they are not, and should not, be the ones calling the shots at dinnertime.

We make these decisions. But that's actually the good news here. If we're the ones who make the decisions, then we can decide to solve this problem. And when I say "we," I'm not just talking about folks here in Washington. This isn't about politics. There's nothing Democratic or Republican, liberal or conservative, about doing what's best for our kids. And I've spoken with many experts about this issue, and not a single one has said that the solution is to have government tell people what to do. Instead, I'm talking about what we can do. I'm talking about commonsense steps we can take in our families and communities to help our kids lead active, healthy lives.

This isn't about trying to turn the clock back to when we were kids, or preparing five course meals from scratch every night.

And when I say "we," I'm not just talking about folks here in Washington. It was a source of great controversy here at home, with patriots on both sides of the debate. Let's give them a hand to show them how proud we are. It keeps us honest, it makes us work harder. While today I'm blessed with more help and support than I ever dreamed of, I didn't always live in the White House.

No one has time for that. And it's not about being percent perfect percent of the time. Lord knows I'm not. There's a place for cookies and ice cream, burgers and fries -- that's part of the fun of childhood. Often, it's just about balance. It's about small changes that add up -- like walking to school, replacing soda with water or skim milk, trimming those portion sizes a little -- things like this can mean the difference between being healthy and fit or not.

US First Lady Michelle Obama met with her Mexican counterpart and from the Obama administration in his brutal drug war, and Mrs Obama's. President Obama Has Ended the War in Iraq And as we welcome home our newest veterans, we'll never stop working to give them and their.

There's no one-size-fits-all solution here. Instead, it's about families making manageable changes that fit with their schedules, their budgets, and their needs and tastes. And it's about communities working to support these efforts. Mayors like Mayors Johnson and Curtatone, who are building sidewalks, parks and community gardens.

Athletes and role models like Tiki Barber, who are building playgrounds to help kids stay active. Community leaders like Will Allen who are bringing farmers markets to underserved areas. Companies like the food industry leaders who came together last fall and acknowledged their responsibility to be part of the solution. But there's so much more to do. And that's the mission of Let's Move -- to create a wave of efforts across this country that get us to our goal of solving childhood obesity in a generation. We kicked off this initiative this morning when my husband signed a presidential memorandum establishing the first ever government-wide Task Force on Childhood Obesity.

The task force is composed of representatives from key agencies -- including many who are here today. Over the next 90 days, these folks will review every program and policy relating to child nutrition and physical activity. And they'll develop an action plan marshalling these resources to meet our goal. And to ensure we're continuously on track to do so, the Task Force will set concrete benchmarks to measure our progress.

Michelle Obama through the years

But we can't wait 90 days to get going here. So let's move right now, starting today, on a series of initiatives to help achieve our goal. First, let's move to offer parents the tools and information they need -- and that they've been asking for -- to make healthy choices for their kids.

We've been working with the FDA and several manufacturers and retailers to make our food labels more customer-friendly, so people don't have to spend hours squinting at words they can't pronounce to figure out whether the food they're buying is healthy or not. In fact, just today, the nation's largest beverage companies announced that they'll be taking steps to provide clearly visible information about calories on the front of their products -- as well as on vending machines and soda fountains. This is exactly the kind of vital information parents need to make good choices for their kids.

We're also working with the American Academy of Pediatrics, supporting their groundbreaking efforts to ensure that doctors not only regularly measure children's BMI, but actually write out a prescription detailing steps parents can take to keep their kids healthy and fit. In addition, we're working with the Walt Disney Company, NBC Universal, and Viacom to launch a nationwide public awareness campaign educating parents and children about how to fight childhood obesity.

And we're creating a one-stop shopping website -- LetsMove.

Michelle Obama Escalates War On Childhood Obesity

And what we don't want is a situation where parents are taking all the right steps at home -- and then their kids undo all that work with salty, fatty food in the school cafeteria. So let's move to get healthier food into our nation's schools. That's the second part of this initiative. We'll start by updating and strengthening the Child Nutrition Act -- the law that sets nutrition standards for what our kids eat at school.

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With this new investment, we'll knock down barriers that keep families from participating in school meal programs and serve an additional one million students in the first five years alone. And we'll dramatically improve the quality of the food we offer in schools -- including in school vending machines. We'll take away some of the empty calories, and add more fresh fruits and vegetables and other nutritious options.

We also plan to double the number of schools in the HealthierUS School Challenge -- an innovative program that recognizes schools doing the very best work to keep kids healthy -- from providing healthy school meals to requiring physical education classes each week. To help us meet that goal, I'm thrilled to announce that for the very first time, several major school food suppliers have come together and committed to decrease sugar, fat and salt; increase whole grains; and double the fresh produce in the school meals they serve.