In February 2010, first lady Michelle Obama announced her “Let’s Move” campaign to end childhood obesity. “Eat smart. Play hard. Live well,” was her opening salvo in the call to America to get off the couch and onto the track, according to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which apparently recorded the historic event here. That announcement coincided with the creation of the website, www.LetsMove.gov – a sort of ground zero drop zone for all the latest goings-on in the world of health where fat America could see, at a click of the mouse, how best to solve “the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation.” Excellent plan. Website, check. Famous spokesperson to mention website before adoring audiences, check.
Had “Let’s Move” stayed a simple first lady mantra, all would be well. No complaints here. But what government program is complete without some funding? And it sure didn’t take long for that circle to be made complete.
“USDA announces $5.5 million in grants for Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign,” rang a March 3, 2011 announcement on Obama Foodorama, the “blog of record about White House food initiatives, from policy to pie.” The grant dollars, also known as taxpayer dollars, are used to reward states and schools that meet certain goals for regular physical activity, as set forth in the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (cost to taxpayers for this piece of legislation: $4.5 billion).
With so much money invested in the health of our kids, perhaps it’s only logical then to expect that someone is going to be in charge of making sure the cost justifies the expenditure. And this is where it gets really annoying. How many times do we have to listen to the first lady admonish our eating habits? From planting gardens in downtown D.C., to taking the veggie message on the late night talk show circuit with Jay Leno, one thing is sure: America is a bit fed up with the lecture -- along with the push to effect national policy change on school menus. Especially from a mouth that still holds traces of a 1,700 calorie Shake Shack meal.