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.

Comments

BabyMomma

If they would do more to help with the rising cost of foods, it may actually be cheaper to cook than eat fast food. Right now that simply is not the case. It may be cheaper to cook at home versus Red Lobster, but home cooking is not cheaper than the drive-thru joints! Try buying organic stuff at the store, yikes! That must be why they give a family of 3 $600+ a month for food. Me and my wife WORK and maybe spend $450 a month on a family of 4. I should just quit my job I guess, than I can live "Obama" rich.

JudgeMeNot

Don't do it, 0-bama is not the answer.

JudgeMeNot

It’s entirely possible to be “medically obese” and totally healthy. Fact is, obese people aren’t any more prone to death than fit people. Mrs.0 can take her obese behind and sit on it.

coasterfan

Are you kidding!?!?! Obesity is a ticket for premature death, and a ticket for increased healthcare expenses prior to that premature death. Even if you don't read any of the medical literature on the subject (and it's obvious that you don't), a quick look around will provide all the proof you need. Far fewer morbidly obese people live into their mid 70's as compared to the rest of the population.

JudgeMeNot

It’s entirely possible to be “medically obese” and totally healthy. You may not understand that and I am fine with it. Why make it your business what others are paying for healthcare?

Stop It

If she'd drop that 1976 Cadillac sized a$$, I could see her telling us how to eat. Until then, STFU about it Movie Star Michelle.

Abacus

Really? Really? This is how you teach our children to show respect? I don't care what your political viewpoint is, this is pathetic!

Stop It

It's my opinion. How I raised my kid is NOYB. If we have $h*t for a POTUS I'll call it every time. I voted, I can have my say. His wife is not exempt. I don't have any more respect for her than she has for me.

Edit to add: Michelle is a Prima donna in every sense of the word with all it's connotations.

JMOP

Nicely said Stop It. That's exactly how I feel too.

O Really

Her whole campaign in a bunch of BS! It's so expensive to eat healthy, gardens only happen seasonly here & when you do buy fresh fruits/veggies they spoil within a day or 2 of having them home!!! BUT I always make sure my kids eat healthier than I do!

Abacus

I very much believe in the First Amendment, but I have to wonder if those who post here ever listen to how they sound. It is one thing to be opposed to the current Administration (whoever it might be in whatever year) and respectfully speak your piece about that but something else to blather on with "in your face" commentary that borders on a street fight and shows little background knowledge other than what is heard in various media or street corner reports. Step back and take a deep breath. Get informed. Please.

starryeyes83

Hell, this is mild compared to what it used to be. I suggest you grow a thick skin or stay off.

Cause the fur is flyin', now.

;] ;]

The Big Dog's back

It's good to see that the right wingnuts are now proponents for a large increase in the minimum wage so people can afford healthy foods.

looking around

LOL Dog....good one!

coasterfan

Classic Republican comments. Even when the Obamas suggest common sense things that everyone should support, conservatives just can't help themselves. I thought they were all about Family Values.... What was Michelle thinking by encouraging Americans to save money and eat dinner at home as a family, when she could be encouraging us to eat overpriced fastfood that causes our arteries to clog? Rolls eyes....

If only conservatives could find a way to channel all that negative energy toward something that would actually help America...

The Big Dog's back

To bad we can't harness all that hate and negativity into energy. We'd be self sufficient on the energy front forever.

Darwin's choice

You two would be enough hot air to power a medium sized city.

obama/fail

JudgeMeNot

LOL, so true. Dog and coaster have more hot air. If they put as much effort into getting and education as they do boot licking, they might be smart democrats.

mikeylikesit

obozo could do something to help america too, like turn off the money printing press, stop arming our muslim enemies, uphold the constitution, you get the idea, well, no, i guess you dont..

starryeyes83

Well, I certainly don't see her nor her husband offering to pay for people's groceries who don't qualify for SNAP.

Does anyone else?

JudgeMeNot

I dont see them helping any African american families that are starving. But coaster or the dumb dog will blather about off-topic nonsense and keep licking them boots.

KURTje

I'd rather hang with Barrack & Michelle than Ron & Nancy anytime.

mikeylikesit

politics aside, i would rather hang with bill clinton, right after we dump his worthless wife in benghazi for the muslims to tear apart.

pntbutterandjelly

I'd like to hang out with people like kURTje.

JudgeMeNot

Bring your rainbow flag if you do.

Contango

coasterfan writes: "the Obamas suggest common sense things that everyone should support,"

Just more brainless, know-it-all sophistry, not unlike what her husband bloviates.

"Obama: Give Up Your TV and Phone to Fund Other People’s Healthcare"

http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/201...

pntbutterandjelly

To take something positive like this article and turn it into something so negative like many of you have and are doing shows a lot about those doing it. That is, "You people are complete imbeciles". You also have no class, sensibilities, morals or any other positive human characteristics. You are ONLY all about Spite, Hatred, Vengeance and Shouting. You really have nothing positive to add to the article. You really have nothing constructive or of value to solve problems. Your pitiable minds are filled with negativity and that must make for really miserable lives. I almost feel sorry for you. (I am so thankful I am not like you!)

JMOP

You seem judgmental. You used a lot of negative adjectives about people. Also, your comment has nothing to do with this article, and offers no constructive or values solving our "miserable lives".

Lol

Contango

Re: "To take something positive like this article,"

Maybe if the progressive-socialists like the Obamas would STFU and let individuals (the ultimate minority) determine and decide how to conduct their lives and concern themselves less with foisting their brand of centralized planning and tyranny of the majority on everyone, there would be less need for those of us who favor individual freedom and personal responsibility as opposed to collectivism to voice our opinion.

Gotta think that those who swallow and fawn over this socialist tripe, and look to politicos for their socio-economic answers, i.e. Obamabots, are the REAL "complete imbeciles".

jacksonbrowne

What would be great, Michelle, is if you limited Snap card users to only buying healthy food!!!

Just this morning in the grocery store I was behind a lady that had a box of donuts, a bag of Cheetos, 4 starbucks coffee drinks and a box of poptarts all bought with her Snap card! But wait, if she heats them at home is that now healthier than if she ate "out" in the store parking lot?

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