(LIN) — The first lady is getting her move on to make sure kids across the country are doing the same thing.
On Feb. 20, she announced a nationwide tour to celebrate the third anniversary of her "Let's Move!" initiative, which is a nutrition- and exercise-based approach to combat childhood obesity.
"We're going to travel around the nation to visit some cities all across this country that are making important progress to try to highlight the good work that's happening," Obama said last week.
She won’t be doing it alone, either.
In a press release, the White House says Olympic gymnasts Gabby Douglas and Dominique Dawes, tennis superstar Serena Williams, San Franc
i sco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and a surprise musical guest will be among her many special guests on tour.
Last week, the first lady and Big Bird starred in a new PSA, discussing healthy eating and exercise choices. The commercial will be played on 320 PBS stations across the country.
Just a couple of days later, she discussed the tour on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” In what’s become somewhat of a ritual, Obama and Fallon had somewhat of a competition. Last year, it was a potato sack race. This year, it was a dance off, featuring the evolution of mom dancing:
Obama is also scheduled for appearances on “Good Morning America” and “The Dr. Oz Show” this week, and there are many successes to talk about from her “Let’s Move!” campaign.
While it’s not clear at this time if the “out-of-sync electric slide” will be reappearing on this tour, Obama plans to encourage people across the country that daily simple exercise – even awkward dancing – can go along way in improving overall health.
More than 5,000 schools now meet high standards in nutrition and fitness.
Darden, which owns Olive Garden, Red Lobster and other chains, made a commitment to improve kids’ menus by offering a fruit or vegetable and low-fat milk with every meal.
Walmart announced a new Nutrition Charter, which lowered the cost of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain products by $1 billion in 2011.
The country’s largest food manufacturers pledged to cut 1.5 trillion calories from the food they sell by 2015 through their Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation.
In one year, 1.7 million Americans earned the President’s Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) for engaging in regular physical activity, far exceeding the first lady’s goal of 1 million.
Want to follow Obama on her nationwide tour this week? Updates will be posted to her
@FLOTUS account and will also contain the hashtag
The first lady’s initiative to end childhood obesity is commendable, and the tour is not only ambitious, but an exciting way to celebrate three years of making a difference.
At the very least, Moms everywhere have a new dance or two to add to their awkward dance mix.
After all, the first lady has taught America how to Dougie.
Ladies First is a biweekly feature centered around the first lady of the United States.Jessica O. Swink is a contributing editor toonPolitix. Join in the conversation onFacebookandTwitter.
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