First Lady Michelle Obama delivered the keynote address to over 1,000 stakeholders at the Partnership for Healthier America’s (PHA) annual “Building a Healthier Future” summit. The summit provided an opportunity for those in the private sector to sit with their nonprofit, academic and government counterparts to address critical issues facing the future of this country’s health and well-being. The summit stressed action and solutions to help Americans make healthier choices, regardless of their geographic location. The summit honored continued commitments from multiple invested stakeholders, and the First Lady spotlighted the changes these commitments are making nationwide, including looking back at the progress over the past five years as part of the 5th anniversary celebration of Let's Move!.
First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the 2015 Partnership for a Healthier America Summit at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC, February 26, 2015.
Reflecting back on the past five years, the First Lady said:
“Just think about how much things have changed. Food companies are racing like never before to create healthier versions of their products. Even convenience stores are selling fruits and vegetables. Head to the local drive-thru, and the kids’ meals might include apples and skim milk. Hit the aisles of the nearest Walmart, and you’ll find new healthy labels on their products. Schools are growing gardens – they're moving beyond just pizza and tater tots to lunches filled with fresh produce and whole grains. Companies are actually rewarding employees for eating right and going to the gym. And it seems like everyone’s running out to buy those fitness bracelets. Five years ago, all this stuff would have been considered cutting edge, but now, today, it's our new norm.”
A few noteworthy commitments announced during the summit include:
Healthier Campus Initiative will create healthier food and physical activity environments in campuses and universities nationwide. Currently, 20 colleges and universities across 18 states, reaching over 500,000 students and 150,000 faculty and staff are participating in this initiative. The newest partners include: American University, Bucknell University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Loyola Marymount University, Leech Lake Tribal College, and Saint Louis University.
Vintners Inc. Convenience Stores will increase the number of fruits and vegetables offered nationwide and will also provide packaged foods that meet PHA healthy guidelines.
FNV Campaign will creatively market fruits and vegetables to take back America’s taste buds. FNV uses disruptive marketing and an aggressive advertising program to reintroduce people to fruits and veggies. The brand uses dynamic visuals, a self-aware tone, compelling spokespersons and savvy activations to market fruits and veggies in an entirely new way.
Active Design – Affordable Housing Developers will offer affordable housing that includes facilities that support physical activity and health, such as indoor gyms or outdoor recreation spaces; well-designed stairs that encourage everyday use; infrastructure to support walking and biking – such as trails or sufficient outdoor lighting; and free or low-cost programming – like exercise and cooking classes – to support resident health. The group of developers include Blue Sea Development, Vitus Group, and Urban Ventures.
Mercedes-Benz USA will commit to invest $10.5 million over three years to build a national youth development, sports-based coaching force, and strengthen sport and physical activity organizations in New Orleans, Louisiana with a specific focus on underserved communities.
Let's Move! Active Schools has registered 14,300 schools, impacting nearly nine million students, since its launch in March 2013. At the Summit, five new supporting organizations were announced: Athletes for Hope, GoNoodle, Good Sports, Kids in the Game and Safe Routes to School National Partnership (SRTSNP).