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Here’s What You Missed Health-Wise During the State of the Union

Last night President Obama delivered his 5th State of the Union Address. During the near 90 minute speech, he covered topics like the citizenship, the United States’ military presence in the Middle East, and equal pay. An increase to minimum wage was a hot topic in the speech. President Obama would like to see it increase to $10.10 per hour. That portion of the speech provided the most easily quoted moment of the night, “Give America a raise.”

In a blink-and-you-missed-it moment, the president also, unsurprisingly, talked a bit about health care and the still much-debated Affordable Care Act.


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Hot Lunch! Four People Who Made School Lunch Reform Happen

The wheels of school lunch reform are finally starting to turn, even if pizza is still considered a vegetable.

The days of fuzzy chicken nuggets, grey burgers, and gelatinous square pizza are fading away. President Obama signed the Child Nutrition Bill three years ago, which gave the USDA authority to set nutritional standards for all foods regularly sold in schools during the school day, including vending machines, the “a la carte” lunch lines, and school stores.

School lunch

Congress passed the $4 billion bill, but regular citizens are responsible for getting their attention. Although schools have started serving more nutritious foods—breads and crusts with whole grains, fruits and vegetables, salads—the war is still on. The USDA had a PR nightmare in 2012 with “pink slime”—a meat byproduct made of random cow parts and ammonia—yet schools in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota continue to serve the stuff.

On a global scale, school lunch reform has been a common theme. In England, flamboyant chef, Jamie Oliver, took up the cause, and in the U.S., blogger Sarah Wu (aka Mrs. Q), First Lady Michelle Obama, and Chef Ann Cooper have carried the torch. All of their efforts worked to ensure that the future leaders of the world wouldn’t be fed the cheapest, most processed, and least nutritious junk imaginable.


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Michelle Obama Encourages us All to Drink Up!

Three years ago, Michelle Obama announced that her platform as first lady would be ending childhood obesity. She launched the Let’s Move! campaign in 2010 in order to bring together community leaders, teachers, doctors, nurses and parents in an effort to solve the problem of childhood obesity. It is her ambitious goal to solve the epidemic within a generation. We think it’s great that Mrs. Obama has put such an important issue in focus, and that Let’s Move! keeps adapting.

water

Since Let’s Move! started, Mrs. Obama has asked us to plant gardens, get up a dance and cut calories. She has even called on the U.S. military to set a good, healthy example for the rest of Americans. Her next step in evolving and adding to her quest against childhood obesity is asking people to drink more water. This new initiative, called Drink Up, urges Americans to drink water in the place of other beverages they consume. The first lady even “stole” the TODAY show anchors’ coffee and replaced it with water during an appearance last week.


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Hoopnotica’s Hula Workouts Resonate with Men and Women Alike

Jen and Keith Moore never thought they’d be professional hula hoopers.

But when Keith was laid off in 2008, leaving the the Moore’s and their three children to live off $200 a week, a hula hoop changed their life.

hoopnotica

“Keith and I were looking for a lifestyle change. We had always had problems with our weight. We weren’t obese per se, but we emotionally ate and felt mentally obese,” said Jen. When Jen saw advertisements for the Hoopnotica exercise device, she saved up, bought the hoop, and has been addicted ever since.

“Keith thought it was just another exercise fad,” said Jen, “but he finally caught on and was an intuitive hooper.” Through hooping and eating right, the Moores lost a combined 270 pounds.
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Let’s Move Pins 1,000 Healthy Recipes Approved Under MyPlate

  • Let’s Move is moving its game online, collaborating with some of the largest media companies in the country, and Pinterest, to get healthy recipes in front of millions of Americans.
  • The effort is a collaboration of USDA’s MyPlate, Let’s Move!, and Partnership for a Healthier America, for which first lady Michelle Obama is an honorary chair.
  • Epicurious, Food Network, Hearst Magazines, Meredith and Time Inc. have been identified as having more than 3,000 recipes that meet MyPlate standards. Those recipes are published across 18 of their properties, including CookingLight.com, Epicurious.com, RealSimple.com, and Delish.com.
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