Tuesday, February 26, 2013

First Lady and Jimmy Fallon Bring Humor to "Let's Move" Campaign

First Lady and Jimmy Fallon Bring Humor to "Let's Move" Campaign
By:  Michael G. Lander

It's not always easy to attract attention to your cause, but first lady Michelle Obama and Jimmy Fallon may have found just the right formula to do it, and that is through humor.

A year ago, the two paired up together for a promotional video where the two supposedly faced off in a
fitness challenge that took place inside the White House.  This year the two recently appeared together on Fallon's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" show  and the two did a mommy dance video that has gone viral since it aired several days ago.

Both of these videos coincided on the anniversary of the first lady's "Let's Move!" campaign.  Starting tomorrow, Feb. 27, the first lady will be on a
two-day nationwide tour to promote the third anniversary of her initiative.  She will use the opportunity to publicize her cause and to champion the need for healthy eating and for more exercise.

As the first lady goes out to engage the public on her brief tour, the one thing that may resonate with people more than anything else may be what she did with Fallon.  Humor speaks to all of us at a level that is hard to ignore.  It often works itself deep into our minds and gets us to think of things that we might not otherwise give any thought to.  

It is also a stroke of genius on her and Fallon's part to create something that is funny since it is far more likely to stick with parents than anything else might.   Everyone enjoys a good laugh and this could have the greatest impact of all on parents.  After all is said and done, it could easily be the kind of thing that helps to determine whether or not her "Let's Move!" ends up being successful.

Beyond the humor of the two videos that she did with Fallon, however, is the real reason why the first lady's initiative is so important and that really is not a laughing matter.  Many Americans are overweight and a considerable amount of the population is morbidly obese.  There has never been a time in our history when it has been this bad.  Sadly, this condition is not only prevalent with adults, but it has even found its way to our youth.

With a steady diet of processed foods packed with fat, sugar, sodium, and preservatives, coupled with a sedentary lifestyle for many, it should come as no surprise that the situation has reached almost epidemic proportions. 

Recognizing the staggering number of children dealing with weight issues and obesity throughout this country, first lady Michelle Obama initiated her
"Let's Move!" campaign  in Febuary 2010. This began three years ago to fight a problem that, at the time, afflicted 17 percent of American children from two to 15 years of age.

Even though it is still too early to determine the effectiveness of the initiative, the motive has been crucial to tackling a matter that has almost gotten completely out of control. 
Over the last couple of decades, childhood obesity has become a serious, life-threatening concern for many Americans.

In 2007, Forbes Magazine ranked Memphis as the most sedentary and obese city in the entire country. This ranking by Forbes was based on information that it had received from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. 

The Centers for Disease Control determined, from data collected in 2006, that 32 percent of the nation was obese and that Memphis came in at the highest with an astonishing 34 percent.  A
2009 risk behavior study  by the CDC also indicated that 17 percent of Memphis high school students were clinically obese as well. 

Further reinforcement of the first lady's initiative will come in March, when it will be National Nutrition Month.

While it may still be too early to determine how effective the "Let's Move!" initiative will ultimately be, it will certainly not be for a lack of effort on the part of the first lady.  She has been out there promoting this issue to the American public in various methods, including comedy, in order to get people to start thinking and doing something about this most serious issue confronting American society today. 

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