August 2nd, 2010
10:35 AM ET
12 years ago

First lady urges Congress to pass Child Nutrition Bill

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption ="First lady Michelle Obama has made battling childhood obesity one of her top priorities."]Washington (CNN) - The nation's first mom wants kids to eat healthier – and she wants Congress to help put the healthy food in front of them.

In an op-ed published in the Washington Post Monday, first lady Michelle Obama asks Congress to pass legislation that will boost the nutritional value of school meals by using more fruits and vegetables and by eliminating junk food.

"The Child Nutrition Bill working its way through Congress has support from both Democrats and Republicans," Obama writes. "This groundbreaking legislation will bring fundamental change to schools and improve the food options available to our children."

"We owe it to the children who aren't reaching their potential because they're not getting the nutrition they need during the day," the first lady writes. "We owe it to the parents who are working to keep their families healthy and looking for a little support along the way. We owe it to the schools that are trying to make progress but don't have the resources they need. And we owe it to our country - because our prosperity depends on the health and vitality of the next generation."

The first lady has made battling childhood obesity one of her signature issues; the goal of her "Let's Move!" campaign is to curb the problem in one generation.

Related: First lady: Childhood obesity fight is about fitness, not looks

Mrs. Obama's calls for Congress to act may go unanswered in the near-term as the House of Representatives is already on a six week recess and the Senate has a light legislative agenda before leaving for its recess on Friday.

Filed under: Michelle Obama
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Ben

    Michelle Obama has no business lecturing anyone on anything, Period.

    August 2, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  2. Angus McDugan

    This is a good area of politics for her to stay in unless it becomes folded into ObamaCares agenda to dictate/legislate what we can and cannot eat.

    August 2, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    Oh no! It's a government takeover of the school lunch industry! Danged socialists! Have a nice day!

    August 2, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. Augsbee

    You can lead a horse to water but you can't make the horse drink the water.....these are kids, teenagers we're talking about, when was the last time a kid, teenager went looking for vegetables???? especially cooked by school cooks????? who is going to make sure/patrol every child eats these new cafeteria foods????? or are we going to start having kids skipping lunch????? these is not the salad dressing commercial where kids are happy eating a salad, unfortunately, the ravioli with hidden vegetables commercial is more realistic. School cafeteria food is right up there with hospital cafeteria food.

    August 2, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    The Republicans will vote no to a socialized food reindoctrination program for children. If they will vote against these kids' parents getting unemployment, they will surely vote against helping kids....because some of them my be undocumented. Remember....the Republicans want your children to die!

    August 2, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. Christina

    School kids will go off campus for what they want to eat. No legislation will be able to force these kids to eat what the government wants them to.

    August 2, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. al in memphis

    Good start– some will look at this and say that government is once again sticking it hand in local issues. Let us not forget that we are one of the most obese nations with a lot of looming health care issues related to bad diets and process foods.
    Millions of dollars are being spent just to advertize for kids to get out and play for one hour a day. As always, profit making and politics get in the way of what should be better long-term goals of developing healthier habits.

    A lot of tax payers money goes into local school programs and we should expect to see some improvements

    August 2, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. Ron in california

    I'm all for assuring needy children get good nutrition. But aren't there numerous programs already in place to do that? I know that thee are many social welfare pograms providing food resouces to qualifed children either through school programs or through orther programs designed specifically for children. This is in adddition to general welfare prgorams dircted at families. Do we need a new one or should we improve the effectiveness of he current ones? Even though that what this new Bill is supposed to do what really happens is more red tape and administration.

    August 2, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  9. Malt

    I'm glad that Michelle has made it a point to look out for everyone else's children. I'm fine with that. It's her 'cause'.

    But, she shouldn't be trying to 'legislate' nutrition. When I get behind a cause, I support it WITH MY OWN MONEY (cancer research, food bank, scouts,...). Now, Michelle Obama has much, much more money than I do.... or more than I will probably ever have. She can have fundraisers, she can put a volunteer structure in place.... BUT IT SHOULD BE WITH HER OWN CASH–not taxpayer moneys.

    Again, Michelle can sponsor a healthy agenda, but shouldn't force taxpayers to pay for it.

    August 2, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. Dave

    And is this because our government truly cares about us?? Pffffffffft!!!!!
    They force flouridated water upon us and allow global corporations to put toxins in our food, water, soap, shampoos and all other daily care products. Find out for yourself.

    August 2, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. Greg Pottstown PA

    How much more in taxes do you think this will cost? If parents want kids to eat more healthy can they not pack lunches for their kids? Do you think the price of a school lunch will go up? What If a boy is not that smart but he is a killer d end and needs to eat fatty foods in order to put on muscle? In the end congress needs to stay out of our every day lives. What is good for one is not always good for all.

    August 2, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    How much will this taking over of a parental responsibility cost those of us who actually take responsibility for raising our children, work, pay our taxes and don't spend all of our money on drugs? We have to pay more for Obama's voters? How many are illegal immigrants?

    August 2, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. Jeff in TX

    This ought to be interesting. Soda makers trying to justify their products based on in-school sponshorships. Snack makers taking high ground saying their products are "only available in vending machines". ALL indicating that they keep costs down and provide healthy options. These people will make BP's PR machine look amatuerish. I hope we wise up and keep the junk food out. Our children have reached ridiculous obesity levels. We will ALL pay in the future in our health care premiums. Pass a tough bill!

    August 2, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. RR

    Why doesn't she take her husband to task for supporting farm bills that subsidize corn and make corn syrup cheaper and widely used in foods?

    August 2, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. ccm123

    Hey look, another bill the republican'ts can say no too!!! It's like Christmas!

    August 2, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  16. Fair is Fair

    This is a very good thing.

    But... unless the example is set AT HOME, nothing will come of it. Once again, it comes down to that dreaded "personal responsibility".

    August 2, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  17. DENNA

    First Lady Obama is absolutely correct. School lunches, while must be economical, must also be nutritious. Our children are suffering from some of the same illnesses that used to only strike older adults. They must eat better and get away from the television and computer and go outside and play. Seriously, can't tater tots be replaced with, say carrot slices?

    August 2, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  18. Rick McDaniel

    Just another thing that will run up costs, and that they will ask the middle class to pay for, through increased property taxes.

    That is why schools must be funded through enrollment taxes, and not property taxes. The middle class can no longer pay the all the costs of raising and educating the children of the poor, who pay nothing for their kids!

    August 2, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  19. Some Republican guy

    Goldangit. Those narcisstic elitest obamabots are at it again!!! Give 'em an inch and they take a mile!!!! This time it's a socialistic government takeover of our school lunches!!!! They want to take away my grandbabies' chicken nuggets and replace them with organic wheatgrass juice smoothies!!!! How are my grandbabies supposed to learn about intelligent design with that in their stomachs!!!???? Our grandbabies will be so hungry that they'll listen to the fachist indoctrination by the Oprah watching union thugs and illeagle aliens from ACORN!!!!! Wise up, real Americans!!!! Succeed from the union!!!! Empeach them all before its to late!!!!!!!!!! Have a nice day!

    August 2, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  20. mar

    Such a classy first lady we have! Thank you for all the work that President and Mrs. Obama are doing for our country. best wishes to your family.

    August 2, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. jules sand-perkins

    The obesity of another citizen's child is none of my business.
    Where are the child's parents?

    August 2, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. Garry

    We owe to them because they do not have enough sense to mange it themselves..BIG BROTHER LADY has spoken!

    August 2, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |