The White House

Office of the First Lady

Remarks by the First Lady at "Let's Move!" Launch Event with NFL in New Orleans, Louisiana

Woldenberg Park, New Orleans, Louisiana

12:43 P.M. CDT

MRS. OBAMA:  How are you guys doing? 

CHILDREN:  Good!

MRS. OBAMA:  Is it hot enough out here?

CHILDREN:  Yes!

MRS. OBAMA:  But you can handle it, right?

CHILDREN:  Yes!

MRS. OBAMA:  Because we’re going to get moving!

CHILDREN:  Yes!

MRS. OBAMA:  All right, first, let me thank a few people, because I’m not going to talk long, because I’m ready to work.  I’m going to be out there running with you guys, all right, so don't be too hard on me.  All right?

First, let’s thank Commissioner Goodell and Coach Dungy for being here and for giving us those great words.  (Applause.)  And we want to thank all our NFL players.  Right?  Give them a big round of applause.  (Applause.)

And there are a couple of other people who are here who I want to recognize.  There’s Representative Joseph Cao, who’s here, Mayor -- the mayor is here, Mayor Landrieu is here.  Say hey to the mayor!

CHILDREN:  Hey!

MRS. OBAMA:  And I think his wife, Cheryl, is here, too.  Hey, First Lady!  (Applause.)  You got a “What’s happening, First Lady” right here.  And to the other members of the Louisiana state legislature who came out today, you guys, let’s give them all a round of applause.  (Applause.)

     And there is somebody who couldn’t be here today because they’re gearing up for a big game tomorrow because it’s the start of the NFL season, right?  We’re all excited about that.  But this guy is somebody that you may have heard of.  He’s not only a Super Bowl MVP, but he’s been a wonderful help to me and the President because he’s the co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, and Sports, and Nutrition.  And I think you guys kind of like this guy.  Who am I talking about?

CHILDREN:  Drew Brees!

MRS. OBAMA:  Absolutely right.  Mr. Brees!  He couldn’t be here because he’s getting ready, but let me tell you, with folks like Drew, back in February, we started this program called “Let’s Move.”  And “Let’s Move” is a nationwide initiative where we want to end childhood obesity in a generation, so that kids born today grow up at a healthy weight.  Does that make sense?

CHILDREN:  Yes!

MRS. OBAMA:  We did this because of you all.  We did all of this because of you.  Can you believe that?  We’re here, all these players are here -- look at all this press. They’re here because of you!  Is it exciting?

CHILDREN:  Yes!

MRS. OBAMA:  Because we want you guys to grow up strong and we want you guys to grow up healthy, because the truth is, is that you can be smart, you can be funny, but if you’re not in good health, it’s going to be a hard road to go.  And it’s tough to hang out there and play with your friends, it’s hard to keep up in school if you’re not healthy.  And certainly if any of you ever wants to do anything as amazing as be a professional athlete, you’ve got to be healthy when you’re young.  And we want to make sure that each and every one of the kids in this country has that opportunity.  That's the kind of future that we want for all of you.

That’s why, three years ago, the folks here at the NFL started “Play 60.”  They were leading the way before anybody -- before we started talking about this at the White House.  “Play 60” was one of the signature programs of the NFL.  They knew back then the importance of tackling the issue of childhood obesity. 

And all of us at the White House wanted to team up with them.  So the President invited a bunch of NFL players and a lot of the Saints to the White House to support “Play 60.”  And I don't know if you saw some of the commercials, but Drew Brees is actually throwing the President a slow motion pass, and he catches it.  Anybody see that?  Yeah, yeah, yeah -- not very impressive.  (Laughter.) 

You got a question?  What’s your question, young man?

Q    Am I on TV?

MRS. OBAMA:  You are on TV right now.  Turn around.  Get your moment in the sun.  (Applause and cheers.)

All right now, settle down, turn around.  Sit down. 

So that means when you all are playing today when you’re catching those passes and we’re doing the drills, you’re going to be on TV.  The newspapers are here.  So you’re going to be showing kids around the country what it means to keep moving.  So you all are the model for today.

But the NFL, in addition to working with the White House, they’re working with a bunch of other people -- the National Dairy Council, and that's the organization they worked with to work on this program called “Fuel Up to Play 60.”  As the Commissioner and Coach Dungy said, it’s not just enough that you exercise, but you also have to watch what you put in your body.  You can’t live on soda and chips and all that.  You can’t.  Sorry.  If you could, I tell you, I would.  But you can’t.  You’ve got to have vegetables and fruits. 

And so this partnership is helping to make sure that, as Coach Dungy said, you’re building a well-rounded body -- a good mind, a good heart, that you’re good to people, you’re good to your friends, but you also take care of yourself.  So there’s a lot going on, and we’re doing it all for you. 

So here’s one question.  I’ve got one question for you guys before we get started.  Did you know that if you follow “Play 60” and you keep moving for 60 minutes every day, that you can get an award from the President? Did you know that?

CHILDREN:  No!

MRS. OBAMA:  Do you want to hear about the award?

CHILDREN:  Yes!

MRS. OBAMA:  Are you sure?

CHILDREN:  Yes!

MRS. OBAMA:  You think you might want to compete for an award?

CHILDREN:  Yes!

MRS. OBAMA:  All right, well, here’s how you do it.  So listen up.  Everyone listen up.  This award is called the President’s Active Lifestyle Award.  And what to do to earn it is that all you have to do is go online and log your activity.  You go to letsmove.gov, but you’ll get all that information.  This is starting next week.  And the goal is that you have to stay active every day for six weeks; that they get 60 minutes or something good in there for six weeks to get this award.  What, does that sound hard?

CHILDREN:  No!

MRS. OBAMA:  Doesn’t sound that hard.  Right?  And to show everyone how not hard it is, and how much fun it can be, I’m going to earn my award.  Yeah, me, me.  Don’t -- what is the silence?  What, you don’t think I can do this?  I am going to be working towards my award starting in a couple of weeks -- somewhere, soon.

So you guys can get online and track my progress because I’m going to be logging it.  And if I start slacking off, you can email me and tell me to get myself into gear.  All right?

So you think this is something that we can work on doing together?

CHILDREN:  Yes!

MRS. OBAMA:  Because guess what, the NFL has made an important pledge on this front.  They have pledged to help 200,000 kids earn an Active Lifestyle Award in this year.  Isn’t that great? 

And the other thing -- now, this is news for the press, because we just talked about this, is that I want to host a big ol’ celebration at the White House for some of the kids who have won these awards.  So maybe that's an incentive, right?

So hopefully some of you guys will compete.  I hope all of you guys will work to get this award, because we want every single kid in the country to be working toward this award.  And if you get it, guess who will follow you?  Your parents will follow you.  If you have younger brothers and sisters, they’re going to follow you.  Everyone is going to be trying to get one of these awards, and you guys can be the first, because we’re going to start off right this afternoon.  I bet what we do today will count towards your award.

So are you ready?

CHILDREN:  Yes!

MRS. OBAMA:  Are you ready to get moving?

CHILDREN:  Yes!

MRS. OBAMA:  All right, let’s move!  Let’s do it!

END
12:51 P.M. CDT

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