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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

First Lady Launches President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition

Today, First Lady Michelle Obama joined students from Bell Multicultural High School to launch the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and introduce the 2010 Council co-chairs and members.

In conjunction with the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, this year President Obama has broadened the scope of the Council, formerly known as the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, to include a focus on healthy eating as well as active lifestyles. Yesterday, the President signed an Executive Order outlining the Council’s new emphasis on both good nutrition and physical fitness.

The President has named Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, and Dominique Dawes, three-time Olympian and former U.S. national champion in women’s gymnastics, 2010 Council Co-Chairs. Dawes delivered remarks at the event and Brees recorded a video message that was shown at the launch.

Joining Dawes were 2010 Council Members Dan Barber, Tedy Bruschi, Allyson Felix, Michelle Kwan, Curtis Pride, Donna Richardson Joyner, Dr. Ian Smith, Carl Edwards, Cornell McClellan and Dr. Stephen McDonough. Council Executive Director, Shellie Pfohl, was also in attendance. Following the announcement, the First Lady, Pfohl and the Council Members joined the kids in participating in a series of activity stations that saw the First Lady juggling, doing yoga, and jumping rope (on one foot, arms crossed).

"But today we know that being healthy is about more than just being physically fit", said the First Lady. "It’s also about eating healthy foods and really learning which foods to enjoy in moderation. That’s one of the reasons I talk about burgers and fries, because a life without burgers and fries is really depressing.

As one student added, "and fried chicken".  Mrs. Obama, laughing, and in agreement said, "and fried chicken."

The president, recognizing that good good nutrition goes hand in hand with fitness and sports participation, signed Executive Order 13265 this week with the main focus on (a) expand national interest in and awareness of the benefits of regular physical activity, fitness, sports participation, and good nutrition; (b) stimulate and enhance coordination of programs within and among the private and public sectors that promote physicalactivity, fitness, sports participation, and good nutrition; (c) expand availability of quality information and guidance regarding physical activity, fitness, sports participation, and good nutrition; and (d) target all Americans, with particular emphasis on children and adolescents, as well as populations or communities in which specific risks or disparities in participation in, access to, or knowledge about the benefits of physical activity, fitness, sports participation, and good nutrition have been identified.

The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition is a committee of volunteer citizens who advise the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services about opportunities to develop accessible, affordable and sustainable physical activity, fitness, sports and nutrition programs for all Americans regardless of age, background or ability.
 
The Council’s mission is to engage, educate and empower all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition. For more information about the Council and its members, visit www.fitness.gov.

Note:  Due to the McChrystal incident, the president was unable to attend the event.

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