Michelle Obama takes obesity effort to religious groups

WASHINGTON, D.C. (RNS) — First Lady Michelle Obama has expanded her “Let’s Move” initiative to reduce childhood obesity to include working with religious and community organizations.

“We can provide all the information in the world but it’s really the leadership and respect that so many of you have garnered through your congregations and communities that’s going to help push this conversation to the next level,” Obama recently told group leaders.

“We want to make sure that we’re having a real and measurable impact on our kids’ lives,” Obama said, speaking to representatives of churches, the Girl Scouts, and a Muslim health professionals group.

She will work with leaders whose houses of worship and other organizations already offer nutrition and exercise programs or community gardens to get involved.

An online toolkit for community leaders has been posted on the Lets Move Web site with links to information about federal programs encouraging fitness and healthy eating.