Michelle Obama: Cooking at home has its advantages

Next up for "Let's Move?" How about "Let's Cook."
Associated Press
Mar 16, 2014

Michelle Obama said Friday that a new focus of her anti-childhood obesity effort will be to help people cook more of their meals at home because they're healthier.

Addressing a health summit in Washington, the first lady said home-cooked meals have less fat, sodium, cholesterol and calories than meals prepared in restaurants — and save money, too.

She said too many people think they don't have the time or the skills to cook for themselves, but that plenty of meals can be pulled together in less than 30 minutes for cheaper than takeout.

Mrs. Obama began focusing on the nation's childhood obesity problem as soon as she got to the White House in 2009. She pledged Friday to stick with the issue long after she's gone.

"We cannot walk away from this issue until obesity rates drop for children of every age and every background," she said. "We cannot walk away until every child in this country has a shot at a healthy life. And that's why I'm in this thing for the long haul, and I mean long after I leave the White House, because I believe in finishing what I start."

Mrs. Obama praised recent federal statistics showing a sharp decline in obesity rates among children ages 2 to 5 as a small, though important, achievement, but still not enough evidence to declare the problem solved. She urged everyone to keep working on solutions, especially among older kids.

"Now is not the time to take our foot off the gas and congratulate ourselves on a job well done," Mrs. Obama said. "Just the opposite. Now is the time to fight even harder, because we now know it is possible to make a difference on this issue. We know that our strategies are beginning to work."

Her strategy largely has been to cajole food and beverage makers, retailers, restaurants and others to make healthier products. Federal legislation and regulations are leading to changes in school breakfast and lunch programs, and are expected to bring an updated "Nutrition Facts" label to thousands of packaged products before the end of the decade.

The promised focus on helping families adopt healthier habits by doing more cooking at home fits that approach.

In her remarks, the first lady talked about working with supermarkets to distribute recipes and offer cooking demonstrations, with schools to develop the "home economics class of the future" to give students basic cooking skills and with chefs to get them to offer affordable cooking classes in their restaurants.

She promised announcements of new initiatives in the coming months.

Mrs. Obama said research shows that eating meals cooked at home is one of the best ways families can improve their health.

Growing up, she said her mother kept a strict food budget, planned her meals weekly and shopped for groceries every Saturday.

"The question is 'How do we help families start cooking again, even if it's just one or two meals a week?'" she told the audience of public health professionals, nutritionists, corporate leaders and others in the closing address at the conference organized by the Partnership for a Healthier America.

Mrs. Obama is honorary chairwoman of the nonprofit organization, which was created in conjunction with "Let's Move," her initiative against childhood obesity. The partnership works to support the goals of "Let's Move" and with businesses to bring then on board and hold them accountable for the commitments they make to improve the health of Americans.

It so far has more than 70 commitments from companies of all sizes, said Larry Soler, its CEO.

Among them was yogurt maker Dannon, which announced Friday that it will begin reducing the amount of sugar and fat in all its brands.



Re: "garbage you pay for at the grocery store."

So you grow your own?

The Big Dog's back

pooh, off topic and ignorant.


Re: "off topic and ignorant."

Yes you are.

You're antsy, do you need to go outside lil' piddles?


Oh, Winnie, there you go again with dumb comments. What do you mean "Compared to what"? What part of what she said don't you understand? They pay for their vacations, so what do you care? Get a job and you could take a vacation sometime.


Re: "What do you mean 'Compared to what'?"

"home-cooked meals have less fat, sodium, cholesterol and calories than meals prepared in restaurants — and save money, too."

And the omniscient Vice-Messiah knows this how Zippy?


If you knew how to cook you would understand. Dope.


Re: "If you,"

Aww...defending Michelle. Good lil' Obamabot. :)


So basically what she wants us to do is eat at home and wipe out all restaurants therefore putting even more people on unemployment and more boarded up buildings!


She wants all neighborhoods to look like Detroit!


So her saying eat healthy is making neighborhoods look like Detroit how?


Good person with good advice.
Just gotta get the the hate on though huh?
Cowboy, Contango, SamAdams, starryeyes83 and jacksonbrowne, I thought we all agreed to be civil, at least until we are old enough to get a drivers license.


I am, until someone, starts blasting me first. My first comment wasn't directed towards anyone on here. Then the name calling began.




You so called republicans are the mist ignorant people. Everyone of you have talked about people need to eat better in the past. Mrs Obama says the same thing so it's a problem. And yes she does get with the cooks and she cooks meals with the help of the cooks. Like u said before why no outrage when bush said say no to drugs but idiots have a problem with something your doctor or any health trainer or anybody with commonsense will tell you.


So it should be say yes to drugs? I can see where your babbling thoughts come from now.


From your ignorant rants just because Mrs Obama wants people to eat well you have a problem so its safe to assume you are over weight and come from a unhealthy family. So its okay for Mrs Bush to say no to drugs isn't this the same thing Mrs Obama isn't the first first lady to have a agenda so what's the problem?


santown419 writes: "Mrs Bush to say no to drugs,"

FYI: That was Nancy Reagan.

Stop It



WRONG. It's repuglican, reproblemcan, republicon, repuglicon, repuglican't, but NEVER Republican, it's simply improper and immoral and perhaps illegal.


You so called democrats are the most ignorant people. Blacks have a more overall obesity rate.



You so called democrats I see you are ignorant. When did I become a demacrat ?


You call republicans ignorant but yet you spell most wrong? If your going to attack people make sure you do it without looking like a fool.


This article should clear up any confusion about who pays for the First Family's food, although I can't imagine how anyone can reasonably argue against anything the SR article stated. And for the record, the Detroit comment probably wasn't necessary.



Maybe if Michelle would broaden her mindset she might just be worth listen to! What she should be doing is traveling the United Stated showcasing the healthy items at restaurants instead of her hatred that she shows to the fast food industry!

Pterocarya frax...

Then you would attack her for traveling the country visiting restaurants.


What Katt Williams says about haters. He 's so right.


Every comment I figured I would see when I read the article, LOL privileged telling everyone else how to eat. Ramen noodles anyone : )


I wondered if anyone would mention the night when MOM has a headache, the fridge is almost empty so dad and the kids make hotdogs, mac n cheese, and doritos for dinner! LMAO.


ladydye, I was cooking alongside of my mom in grade school and have all of her recopies too. I would get out the 1/4 HP Hamilton Beach mixer with juicer attachment and serve mom and dad fresh squeezed OJ from oranges grandma shipped from Florida while I was cooking bacon and warming the waffle iron. I still stand by the fact that excessive litigation and hand holding by our progressive society has generated now a second generation of wimpy Americans.


Yes, my children know how to cook also. My daughter can marinate chicken or steak. She can make twice baked potatoes. My son makes breakfast. That was not the point...the point being some nights you just are not in the MOOD to make a healthy 4 course meal that meets all the specifications. Sometimes it is just a hot dog, mac n cheese kinda night.