The XX Factor

Michelle Obama Chooses An Issue

As I noted a week ago , the Washington Post ‘s Robin Givhan has criticized Michelle Obama for not focusing on a single cause . On the one-year anniversary of Michelle’s move to the White House, she has finally chosen her pet issue: childhood obesity. This news comes at the same time as a CDC report that says childhood obesity has plateaued . 17 percent of children are obese-that’s about the same as it has been for the past five years. However, the number of extremely obese children is on the rise, and Michelle seeks to reduce these rates through changes to the school lunch program and continuing to maintain the White House vegetable garden. Considering all of our discussion about schools and gardening this week , I wonder what Caitlin Flanagan thinks about Michelle’s decision . I’m also wondering what everyone else thinks: Can Michelle actually help reduce childhood obesity through these sorts of initiatives?

Photograph of Michelle Obama by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.