Michelle Obama gets the last laugh with ‘Let’s Move’

Opinion

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Michelle Obama promotes Let's Move with 'Late Night' host Jimmy Fallon (File Photo)

Michelle Obama promotes Let's Move with 'Late Night' host Jimmy Fallon (File Photo)

Maybe teaching our kids to exercise and eat healthy isn’t a Communist plot lead by nanny state dictator first lady Michelle Obama after all.

The latest report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that the first lady’s Let’s Move campaign may have had a real impact on childhood obesity rates.

According to the report, the obesity rates for low income preschoolers has gone down in 19 states between 2008 and 2011.  That news will be music to the ears of Let’s Move supporters who were tasked with the specific goal of fighting childhood obesity.

The first lady was attacked incessantly by conservatives, including Sarah Palin, who were up in arms at Michelle Obama’s suggestion that American children exercise and eat vegetables.

Palin suggested in 2010, that it was the first lady’s worldview that would give her the nerve to suggest that “parents [cannot] make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat.”

Palin also implied that it was a “God-given right” for children to be overweight, saying “[i]nstead of a government thinking that they need to take over and make decisions for us according to some politician or politician’s wife’s priorities, just leave us alone, get off our back, and allow us as individuals to exercise our own God-given rights to make our own decisions and then our country gets back on the right track,” to conservative radio host Laura Ingraham.

Palin might want to read up on adult obesity rates before commenting on the latest news.  Before this decline, obesity rates for all age groups had been going up consistently for everyone for nearly 30 years straight.  It’s quite possible that the high-profile focus on the issue has lead to this recent decline, since raising awareness is a key component to any campaign with the goal of serving the public’s welfare.

Despite Palin and other conservative critics over the years, first lady Michelle Obama is not giving up on encouraging kids to workout and get healthy.

Let’s Move recently launched a new campaign using hip-hop artists Doug E. Fresh and singer Jordin Sparks.  The creative approach to encouraging a healthy lifestyle is the First Lady’s modus operandi, as she stealthily supplements her husband’s legislative efforts – i.e. Obamacare – to make America a healthier country overall.

Making the health of America’s children a partisan issue may make for good sound bites and cable news segments but this new improvement is promising and evidence that the obesity epidemic is reversible through persistent efforts. 1 in 8 American children is obese and whether or not the first lady or improvements in child nutrition programs have had an impact is something we won’t be able to prove until more time has passed.

What can be said is that the attacks on the first lady, in particular for her apolitical efforts, demonstrate yet again how Republicans will attack the Obama administration on any issue, no matter how benign.  The problem with this strategy is that they often overreach and say things that imply it’s a “God-given right” for American children to be overweight.  The fact of the matter is these government programs, like the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children and Let’s Move, are working for American families and our politics have reached such a fever pitch of partisan bickering that even a program that works is bashed simply because it was implemented by the government.

When it’s all said and done, Michelle Obama may dougie her way to victory and finally have the last laugh.

Follow Zerlina Maxwell on Twitter at @ZerlinaMaxwell.