First lady says stop pushing junk food on our kids

Michelle Obama spoke with CBS's Dr. Jonathan LaPook, Feb. 28, 2013.
CBS News

(CBS News) -- First lady Michelle Obama has a prescription for fighting childhood obesity: Get moving. She showed off some moves in Chicago on Thursday -- promoting an idea to merge exercise with learning. Picture kids counting while doing aerobics.

CBS's Dr. Jon LaPook spoke with Mrs. Obama about her struggle to get companies to stop marketing junk food to kids.

Obama: This is a generational goal, and we need to keep pushing every step of the way.

(Watch:Michelle Obama on child health program: We're not at the finish line yet, below)

LaPook: You have done that pushing every step of the way, but there has been a lot of push back from industry - is it just too hard to get industry to stop marketing for kids?

Obama: One of the things that we have to remind parents is that we are the ones that set the demand. So if we are asking our food producers and our restaurant chains and the companies that sell us food and market to us, if we are changing that demand curve, they are going to follow us. It is really the logic of the market. If we demand it, they will make it is because they are trying to, they want us to buy their stuff.

LaPook: Can you give me some insight into what was going on in your own household in terms of your kids growing up, trying to get them to eat right and exercise?

Obama: It was no different than anyone one else's household. What brought me to this issue were my own challenges. I was a working mom with a busy husband and trying to figure out how do you cobble together a meal that your kids are going to like and not pout over. We were eating out more than I realized. We ate a lot more processed foods because they are quicker to prepare, because you are looking for the quick meal. But with just a few changes -- eliminating sugary drinks, getting my kids to drink more water, putting more vegetables on the plate -- those small changes saw a significant shift.

First Lady kicks off healthy recipe campaign
First lady's Let's Move! obesity campaign prompts changes
Big Bird, Michelle Obama encourage kids to exercise

LaPook: Did Malia and Sasha go kicking and screaming, or did they say "no problem" ?

Obama: Oh, absolutely. Yes, kids will kick and scream. My kids are no different. If they could eat hot dogs and macaroni and cheese every day, they would think they would be the happiest kids on the planet. But the beauty of children is that they adapt.

  • Jon Lapook
    Jonathan LaPook

    Dr. Jonathan LaPook is the chief medical correspondent for CBS News. Follow him on Twitter at @DrLaPook