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Michelle Obama Takes on Childhood Obesity

America's First Mom Talks With WebMD About How Families -- Including Hers -- Can Eat Healthfully and Be Active

What are your family's favorite vegetables?

Pulling stuff up out of the dirt is our girls' favorite thing. Anything that you can pull out of the dirt is great for them, so they love things like carrots. And taking a delicious snap pea off the vine and being able to eat it right there, that's cool.

Barack is all broccoli, all the time. He and Sasha are big broccoli fans. Me, I'm pretty flexible, but fresh peas are always a favorite.

So many American women want to look like you -- strong, fit, and healthy. What can they do?

The key is mixing it up. I combine weight training with cardio, and this year I've added on Pilates. The older I get, the more I find I have to stay flexible or injuries come more often. You don't have to run a marathon; a lot of my cardio workout is just walking on the treadmill on an incline.

What's your favorite go-to move to do anywhere, with no equipment?

Minute planks. [Lie on the floor at the top of a push-up position, but instead of doing the push-ups, just hold that pose for a minute -- longer if you can, less if you're not there yet.] Then do one-handed planks on each side. That'll get you burning real quick and strengthen your core. Or do some squats up against the wall. Or jump squats -- jumping up and down and getting your legs moving burns a lot of fat, expends energy, and builds up muscle mass.

With the busiest schedule in America, how do you find time to be together as a family?

We work out together as a couple almost every day, and eat dinner as a family every night at 6:30 unless the President is traveling. We go to our kids' games. We don't allow TV at all during the week, and no computers unless it's school-related. No desserts during the week either -- they're a treat. We have a set of routines and rituals that help us not just from a health perspective, but to stay strong as a family.

Ultimately, that's what "Let's Move" is all about too: not just making kids healthier, but strengthening families. And the beauty of it is that it's not just another government program. It's a series of important partnerships with the business community, nonprofits, and foundations. No one's ever set the goal of ending childhood obesity in a generation before, but we've got momentum now, and we're going to keep going.

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Reviewed on February 08, 2010

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