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First Lady says it's not about looks - but it's about more than she thinks

It's about more than just standing in front of exercising kids.
It's about more than just standing in front of exercising kids.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The First Lady, Michelle Obama, has championed the 'Let's Move' initiative to encourage exercise among young people. On NBC's "Today" show recently she said, "This campaign isn't about how kids look. It's about how kids feel."

In this article at AP, the First Lady talks about being a model for her children, and about reinforcing the message of 'Let's Move.' But she's missing another point -- one that is as important as how kids feel, and that is their overall health.

While admirable in its purpose to help children get moving, the campaign is short-sighted. Without consideration for the entire generation of unhealthy people we are creating, 'Let's Move' is destined to fade away when the Obama family leaves the White House.

Of course it's important to help young people feel better in their bodies and about their bodies -- but to forget that it's about a deeper and longer-lasting issue is a disservice. Rather than simply encouraging kids to move and eat according to the improved-but-still-flawed and widely-accepted Food Pyramid, we should really be teaching them about food production in America. We should teach them about the depletion of agricultural soil since the 1950's, and how to replace those lost nutrients. And then, maybe we could offer financial help to students willing to study and work in fields to improve these areas.

On balance, there's nothing wrong with the 'Let's Move' campaign, except that it doesn't go deep enough -- which may be a response to it's audience, and that's another problem altogether.