KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A child obesity epidemic fed by fast food, sugary drinks and too much television threatens to create the first generation of Americans who live shorter lives than their parents, Mi- chelle Obama said yesterday.
The first lady, as keynote speaker at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People convention, spent much of her half-hour address on her "Let's Move" initiative to combat child obesity.
Obama said the black community is hit especially hard by child obesity, in part because fresh fruits and vegetables often are not available in poor urban areas.
She took parents to task for letting their children spend an average of nearly six hours a day watching TV instead of being outside playing.
"In school, we had recess twice a day, gym class twice a week, like it or not," Obama said. "When we got home, there was no way we'd be allowed to lie around the house watching TV. Our parents made us get up and play outside. We had to get up, get out, couldn't be inside."
The 46-year-old said that while she was growing up, her family rarely ate out, usually had meals as a family, and "we ate what we were served. My mother never cared whether me or my brother liked what was on our plates. We either ate what was there, or we didn't eat."
These days children are spending too much time in convenience stores, where they walk out with roughly 350 calories worth of food and beverages - sometimes two or three times a day, Obama said. - AP