Michelle Obama’s Initiative to Promote Children’s Nutrition
When my girls were younger, no choice felt more important than the quality of the food and drinks I gave them. I constantly found myself wishing there were more healthy options available for moms like me.- Obama.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama, the co-founder of PLEZi Nutrition, is guiding the company to be a model for how food and beverage brands can make the next generation healthier. Speaking during the launch of the company earlier this month, Obama said, “I am proud to introduce you to a new company called PLEZi Nutrition. We’re hoping not just to provide healthier and delicious drinks and snacks for kids, but to jumpstart a race to the top that will transform the entire food industry.”
The 59-year-old Democrat has a decorated history as a health advocate. She launched an initiative dubbed “Let’s Move” during her tenure in the White House to help improve the health of kids through nutrition and physical exercise. She worked tirelessly to raise federal nutritional standards in schools across the country. She also partnered with food vendors and restaurants to serve healthier food low in salt, calories, and trans fat.
"Limiting or reducing foods and beverages higher in added sugars, including sugar-sweetened beverages, is important because added sugars are associated with increased risk of obesity, dental caries, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote in a February report. It added that the average daily intake of added sugars for Americans aged 2-19 years stood at 17 teaspoons from 2017 to 2018. It also established that more than 50% in the majority of the states drank a sugar-sweetened beverage at least once a week in a survey conducted in 2021.
This initiative serves as an extension of the “Let’s Move” campaign aimed to fight obesity in children. PLEZi Nutrition has pledged to invest 10% of its profits in the movement to promote children’s health. Obama also announced that the company shall donate $1 million to FoodCorps, a nonprofit supporting kid’s nutrition.
“I’ve learned that if you want to change the game on this issue, you can do a lot from the outside. But to achieve the kind of long-term change our kids deserve, you’ve also got to change the food and beverage industry itself,” she wrote on her Instagram profile. “You’ve got to get inside. That’s exactly what I’m doing.”
PLEZi’s first product is a drink for kids aged between 6 and 12 years and contains 75% less sugar compared to leading fruit juices. It is currently available in four flavors at Target and Spouts stores countrywide. PLEZi drinks can also be bought online at Walmart.