The following is a statement by Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation applauds First Lady Michelle Obama’s announcement that she will lead a national initiative to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. No leader is better matched to the challenge.
Michelle Obama already has distinguished herself as a role model for busy parents and as an advocate for healthy communities, where all residents can enjoy easy access to fresh affordable foods and safe places where children can play and be physically active. In this new role, Mrs. Obama will build on the success of thousands of local communities working to prevent childhood obesity, leveraging the resources and ingenuity of individual parents, government, educators, corporate leaders and others .
Everyone has a role to play in reversing the childhood obesity epidemic, and the First Lady has the unique ability to call all partners to the table and focus their work on, as she put it, the commonsense solutions that empower families and communities to make healthy decisions for their kids.