American Food 2.0: Representing the Presidential Delegation at Milan Expo 2015

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By Dr. Risa J. Lavizzo-Mourey and Alonzo Mourning

We are incredibly proud to have joined the First Lady’s Presidential Delegation to the Milan Expo 2015, representing our steadfast commitment to a healthier nation at the World's Fair. As members of the Presidential Council for Physical Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, we are especially thrilled by the USA Pavilion, “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet,” showcasing American leadership on global food and development issues, science and technology, climate change, nutrition and health. 

We know raising healthy families isn’t just a challenge in the United States – it’s a challenge all over the world. We came to this Expo to listen, learn, and join others across the globe to come up with lasting solutions.


First Lady Michelle Obama and the US Delegation participate in a Q&A with student ambassadors in the USA Pavilion at the World Expo in Milan, Italy, June 18,  2015. The First Lady, in support of the "Let's Move!" initiative, leads a presidential delegation to the expo, "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life."  (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

The Presidential Delegation included:

  • The Honorable John R. Phillips, United States Ambassador to the Italian Republic and the Republic of San Marino, Department of State
  • The Honorable Douglas T. Hickey, Commissioner General of the USA Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015, Department of State
  • Dr. Risa J. Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
  • Mr. Alonzo H. Mourning, Seven-time NBA All-Star, Member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, and Founder of Mourning Family Foundation
  • Mr. Will Allen, Urban Farmer, Founder and CEO of Growing Power
  • Mr. Mario Batali, Chef, Author and Co-Host of “The Chew”
  • Ms. Carla Hall, Chef, Author and Co-Host of “The Chew”
  • Mr. Nicolas Jammet, Co-CEO, sweetgreen

American Food 2.0” aligns with what the First Lady has been sharing around the 5th anniversary of Let’s Move!: there is a shift in our country toward a new norm when it comes to making decisions around our health and nutrition, and we witnessed this shift around the world at the Expo. 140 countries are participating in Milan Expo 2015, and over 20 million visitors from around the globe are expected at the World’s Fair over six months from May-October 2015, in addition to millions more online visitors.

Over the last few days with the First Lady, we were definitely kept moving! Staying focused on providing essential skills to our kids, we started at the James Beard American Restaurant for a cooking demonstration with seventh and eighth grade students from the American School of Milan. We then toured the USA Pavilion, “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet” and several other countries' pavilions including Morocco, Chile, and Italy. Then we were challenged and inspired by answering the questions of the phenomenal student ambassadors of the USA Pavilion. Highlights include the importance of everyone having a role to play in the culture of health, good nutrition driving performance, cooking more, supporting beginning farmers, and food marketing that makes the healthy choice the easy choice.


First Lady Michelle Obama is greeted by student ambassadors along with the US Delegation outside of the USA Pavilion at the World Expo in Milan, Italy, June 18,  2015. The First Lady, in support of the "Let's Move!" initiative, leads a presidential delegation to the expo, "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life."  (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

To ensure we thoroughly took the time to exchange ideas, Deb Eschmeyer, Executive Director of Let's Move! and Senior Policy Advisor on Nutrition, led an invigorating conversation over lunch between our Delegation and representatives from the Republic of Italy, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Colombia on the topics of health and nutrition. Participants from each country discussed the issues of obesity and childhood nutrition in their own country, cultural differences in the areas of nutrition and food marketing, and shared values and best practices in raising healthier families.

The First Lady summed it up best focusing on the long view: "I know that I for one long after I leave the office of First Lady I'm going to continue to work on these issues because our children deserve better," First Lady Michelle Obama said. "And we can do better, we can, we have seen it here.

 

This blog can also be found on the White House Blog

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