As children’s obesity has dramatically increased in recent years, Michelle Obama had made a cause out of fighting the national trend towards bad diet and too little exercise. Two years ago she launched her “Let’s Move” initiative to improve the diet and fitness of our nation.

According to “Let’s Move”, over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled. “Let’s Move” states that “today, nearly one in three children in America is overweight or obese. Thirty years ago, most people led lives that kept them at a healthy weight. Kids walked to and from school every day, ran around at recess, participated in gym class, and played for hours after school before dinner. Meals were home-cooked with reasonable portion sizes and there was always a vegetable on the plate. Eating fast food was rare and snacking between meals was an occasional treat.”

My, how things have changed! I see it at my own kid’s schools. Students have limited recess activity and physical education classes that seem to be more about eliminating injury than actually providing exercise. On several occasions I’ve gone to the school principal and requested more exercise opportunities for the kids at school. My requests were generally accepted and appreciated. On diet, my kids have never, to my knowledge, eaten at McDonald’s. Down time…..well….we have a saying in our house….”If the sun is out, so are you.” TV and computer time is closely monitored. Am I being a whacky parent, or were there others that thought like me?

It gave me great comfort and reassurance when first lady Michelle Obama launched the “Let’s Move” initiative. This was something near and dear to my heart. I can do my best to change diet and exercise in my own backyard, but someone like Michelle Obama has some serious pulling power to get the job done nationally. And so she has.

Last week was the two-year anniversary of the “Let’s Move” initiative. To mark the event, the first lady took a three-day trip to Iowa, Arkansas, Texas and Florida to highlight successes and future goals. In a rare move, the first lady’s office invited major media outlets to travel on her plane for the entire trip. This was a rare opportunity, and Reuters agreed to send both a writer and photographer.