Today, the self-described "mom in chief" -- Michelle Obama -- is launching Let's Move, a campaign to help other parents deal with a national health crisis she describes in epic terms.
The goal: to eliminate childhood obesity in a generation.
Obama says she will use all the power of her White House pulpit to promote a multifaceted campaign that will include more healthful food in schools, more accurate food labeling, better grocery stores in communities that don't have them, public service announcements and efforts to get children to be more active. Some of her plans, such as tax incentives for businesses, will need congressional approval.
"The first lady having a huge microphone and a spotlight is really helpful," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says. "It's a big health crisis. We need to involve not only the kids but the families."
"Childhood obesity is a no-downside issue," says Boston University journalism professor Elizabeth Mehren, who has written extensively about political spouses. "It's something that mothers can connect to, so it fits in with her 'first mom' agenda."
At the same time, "it's a back-door connector to that very pressing issue for her husband: health care."
What can you do? Just one thing. Start with your family and start tonight. Skip McDonald's or KFC today. Start slow. Pick up a pre-cooked chicken and pre-chopped veggies. Let's start there, and we'll wean ourselves off the fast foods, to the slow and better foods.