For decades now, first ladies have typically taken up an issue to champion. Barbara Bush pushed literacy, Laura Bush advocated for education, and Nancy Reagan led the “Just Say No” campaign against drugs. When Michelle Obama moved into the White House, she picked childhood obesity, a timely, child-focused initiative.
For some on the right, it quickly became another opportunity to attack her. She’s been accused of trying to institute a “nanny state,” forcing people to eat “cardboard” and “tofu,” and that her advocacy means she doesn’t “trust” parents to raise children on their own.
But on Tuesday she got a little bit of vindication.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control revealed some that obesity rates have declined among low-income children in 19 states and territories. And the report specifically calls out parts of Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign as a contributing to those declines.
“While the changes are small, for the first time in a generation they are going in the right direction,” CDC director Thomas Frieden said of the report.
“Today’s announcement reaffirms my belief that together, we are making a real difference in helping kids across the country get a healthier start to life,” Michelle Obama said in a statement. “We know how essential it is to set our youngest children on a path towards a lifetime of healthy eating and physical activity, and more than 10,000 childcare programs participating in the Let’s Move! Child Care initiative are doing vitally important work on this front. Yet, while this announcement reflects important progress, we also know that there is tremendous work still to be done to support healthy futures for all our children.”