First Lady Michelle Obama brings her personal effort to fight childhood obesity to TV One Friday, Oct. 29 at 10 PM ET with the premiere of the TV One original special, Let’s Move with First Lady Michelle Obama. In a candid and enlightening interview with TV One’s Washington Watch host Roland Martin that takes place on the White House grounds and by her hand-planted vegetable garden, First Lady Michelle Obama discusses the components of her signature initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation and the issues and challenges involved. The First Lady tells Martin about the genesis of her awareness of the issue, which began with her own family’s lifestyle, and advice and a cautionary word from her own children’s pediatrician.
“I thought that, if I don’t realize that my habits and our cultural transitions are affecting our children, then where is everybody else on this issue?” Mrs. Obama says. “And having conversations across the country, [I was] finding that more families are struggling with this issue, not realizing the impact that it’s having, particularly on the African American community — one in three kids in this country is overweight or obese, but in our community, 40 percent of our kids are overweight or obese.”
The First Lady stresses the importance of attacking the problem on multiple fronts — at home, at school and in the community.
“The truth is, is that the crisis that we’re facing around childhood obesity hits everything,” she says. It’s about education, what our kids are learning about nutrition in the schools, the quality of the food in the schools. It’s about our neighborhood development. How are neighborhoods designed? Are our kids — do they have access to safe places to play? Are we structuring communities in a way that facilitate healthy living? Are there accessible and affordable healthy foods in our communities? And it’s about economic opportunity as well because if folks can’t afford to put food on the table, then they’re eating what they can.”
The program also features an interview with the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin. Additionally, Martin will take viewers to River Terrace Elementary School in Washington, DC, a school which the First Lady has visited and which is working hard to encourage student physical activity and healthy eating habits. Viewers will also meet Will Allen, an urban farmer in Milwaukee who teaches inner city residents to garden and grow healthy food in the city; visit a store that is helping to erase the “food desert” in Philadelphia, and learn about organizations that are engaged in the fight against childhood obesity.
“All our folks didn’t fight this hard for us to get to this point to find that the biggest threat to our children today could be their own health,” the First Lady says.” …This is a real issue.
“We’ve got so much more work to do on all the other hard issues that we’ve got to be healthy. We’ve got to be ready to work, and this generation has to be prepared physically and mentally for that challenge. And this is in our power. This is something we can control. There are barriers for sure, but in terms of what we put into our bodies and how we move, that’s on us — if we have the information and the support.”
The special repeats at 1 AM ET. Martin, host and managing editor of TV One’s Washington Watch with Roland Martin and also a CNN contributor and Tom Joyner Morning Show analyst, has won NAACP Image Awards for TV One interviews conducted with President Barack Obama, then a senator and Presidential candidate in 2007, and First Lady Michelle Obama, on the eve of the Democratic convention in 2008.