The Dr. Oz Show
Airdate: September 12, 2012
Dr. Oz Interviews First Lady Michelle Obama
- First Lady Michelle Obama discusses obesity in America
- Changes to the President's Physical Fitness Test
- The First Lady shares her on-the-road jump rope routine and challenges Dr. Oz to keep up
- New legislation to improve school lunches is put to the Kid-Test
- The First Lady answers audience questions
First Lady Michelle Obama joins Dr. Oz to discuss obesity rates in America and cultivating healthy eating habits. She shares the changes to the President's Physical Fitness Test, how new legislation is improving school lunches, how she and her family stay active, what her family eats for dinner, and how she gets those toned arms.
Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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Dr. Oz Interviews First Lady Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama has used her position as First Lady to tackle one of the biggest health problems facing American's today: obesity. Dr. Oz sits down with the First Lady to discuss her work and to talk about what's in store for her.
Mrs. Obama could have focused on any topic as First Lady. Why did she choose the focus on obesity?
Mrs. Obama said she felt that obesity was a personal issue for her and her family. As a working mother with two kids she found, like many American's, that she was eating out more often and the entire family was eating larger portions.
Her pediatrician noticed a sharp weight gain in both her children and discussed his concern with her. She chose to look more closely at the foods she was feeding her family and the amount of activity her children were getting.
Less processed foods, fewer sugary drinks, and more activity led to her children quickly losing those extra pounds which surprised the pediatrician. The doctor told Mrs. Obama that he hadn't ever seen weight trend lines reverse so quickly in any patient and wanted to know how she accomplished it.
Her children's progress towards better health sparked a discussion where her doctor shared the rising national trend toward obesity and his struggle in encouraging his patients to make healthier food choices and be more active.
In the US, over $190 Billion is spent each year on obesity related illnesses. Mrs. Obama says that prevention is the key to reversing the trend toward higher weight and decreased health.
As a champion of health eating and exercise, she, like Dr. Oz, has run into obstacles from people who aren't happy with her efforts. Dr. Oz asked if Mrs. Obama has been surprised by the negative criticism?
Mrs. Obama said that the positive response she has received from people across the country has been so much greater so it crowds out the negative. She sounded confident in the information being made more readily available to families and the changes that she has seen people be able to make because of her efforts.
Are you taking the fun out of food?
The First Lady says she tries to make food fun. Healthy eating habits, she explained, is about balance and not about deprivation. As a kid, Mrs. Obama said that eating out was a rare event but today it's not unusual for people to visit fast food restaurants more than once a day. Times have changed, only few channels existed on television when she was young and kids programming ended before noon on Saturday. There are more and more distractions today for our kids that are turning them away from physical activity. Many families are not aware how changes in access to technology is effecting the health of their families.
When did talking about getting healthy make someone evil? There is so much criticism voiced when the topic of making healthy changes comes up.
The effects of being unhealthy are far-reaching. Mrs. Obama explained that the biggest issue preventing military service for people 17-21 is obesity. The military is finding that they are having to provide nutrition education to soldiers to prepare them for the physical demands of combat, she explained.
Dr. Oz stated that the government has to be involved getting the population healthy when obesity numbers this high and health risks this great.
Parents will do for their kids what they are not able or willing to do for themselves, said Mrs. Obama. By focusing on positive impacts for children it's helping the adults to create healthier options. Kids tend to embrace new things easier than adults. Mrs. Obama shared that the kids she has worked with get so excited to see gardens growing at their school, about playing more and exercising more, they want to get out and play. Too often, schools have cut physical education programs, in many neighborhoods it's not safe for kids to play outside however the kids still want to get out and move. It's up to the family, the community, the government to provide the inspiration and access for kids and families to get up and get moving, explained Mrs. Obama.
How do you deal with the stress of being the first family and the President's campaign schedule?
Mrs. Obama said that she and the President enjoy their jobs, their roles, and the service they providing to their country. She shared that they both workout, stay fit, try to rest, and that their kids help them both to de-stress. Their children, she said, kids are the center of their world. As President and First Lady they still place a priority on the needs of their children and on having family dinners.
If President Obama is not re-elected, will his legacy continue?
Changes to the health care system, says Mrs. Obama, is a positive change that will last. She explained that because of her husbands work mammograms are now covered by all insurance, kids are able to stay on their parents insurance plan through college, and the cost for prescription drugs has been reduced. Preventive care has improved with the President's changes, pre-existing condition limitations have been removed. All these changes to health care, she explained, reduces a great deal of stress and worry for so many people and increases the level of care for American's. That is an important legacy, she said.
When it comes to your own health, what are your biggest fears?
Being honest, the First Lady shared that her father was hit with MS in his prime and she worries about the possibility of a sudden illness, about a genetic illness. She worried about President smoking, she said, but he has quit. Her nagging didn't cause him to make the change, their children provided him the inspiration to quit smoking. He didn't want to be a dad who said his daughters couldn't smoke while he kept smoking. He wanted to maintain integrity with his kids.
Dr. Oz showed photos of the President on the campaign trail eating pizza, burgers, and ice cream. How can you promote healthy foods when he's caught on camera eating less than healthy options?
Moderation, Mrs. Obama said. The President works out, is the healthiest person she knows and he eats healthy the majority of the time. When he's out campaigning and visiting people, Mrs. Obama explained, if they offer him something he will try it. It's more about manners.
Body image is not discussed with her children, said Mrs. Obama. She said she talks about how healthy foods will make her kids instead of how they should look. One daughter, she shared, is on the track team in school and she talks with her about what foods will support her in her activity and support her performance. Mrs. Obama said she doesn't want the focus to be on weight and size instead she wants her daughters to understand energy and performance and how food choices effect them.
Going back to the story of talking about weight and BMI with her pediatrician, how did you get your daughters enrolled in becoming more healthy?
Mrs. Obama said she intervened with her children when they were young which was easier. She said her story shows how important health care is and how important preventative care is in the health of kids and families. She looked to her doctor to provide an overall picture of health for her children and used that as a means to understand how to better support the health and wellness of her family.
Dr. Oz: The First Lady Makes An Announcement
For the first time in 25 years, the President's Physical Fitness Test is changing. Many of us can remember taking all the fitness tests during school and for many it was an intimidating experience that gave a negative impress of exercise. As a result, Mrs. Obama said she understands many people have shied away from physical activity because of their negative experience during that test.
Mrs. Obama said the test has been updated with new science and new information. The new test is designed to provide a more individualized look at fitness. A kid can be fit without being on the football team, she said. The test will now look at setting goals for kids and improving their ability from beginning to end.
Dr. Oz said that parents can do these exercises along with their kids so everyone becomes involved and improves their physical fitness. Mrs. Obama said there's nothing her kids like better than beating her at activities. It's a great way to inspire kids to stick with it and create improvements.
[The President's Physical Fitness Test is now being called The Presidential Youth Fitness Program and looks at fitness as a measure of health instead of a child's ability to complete specific activities. Click here to learn more about the revised program.]
Mrs. Obama's arms have received a great deal of attention. Dr. Oz asked, what is her secret to toned arms?
Mrs. Obama said that she has stood next to Serena Williams and attended the Olympics and that her arms are “baby arms” in comparison. She attributes a good diet, cardio, plyometrics, and yoga. There is no one answer, she explained, for fitness and said she is not focused on her arms rather she's focused on overall health. The triangle of nutrition, cardio, and flexability provides results.
How does the First Lady stay in shape while on the road?
A jump rope is a key part of staying active while traveling, said Mrs. Obama. [She is a Double Dutch expert after all!] The First Lady said anyone can learn to jump rope and it's a wonderful form of cardio exercise. She challenged Dr. Oz to jump rope with her as she showed a quick overview of the jump rope routine she does in her hotel room while traveling.
Dr. Oz: Michelle Obama's Jump Rope Workout
Mrs. Obama explained that her jump rope workout routine consists of a circuit of several different styles of jumping rope each 2 minutes long with a 30 second break between.
Regular Jumping – Mrs. Obama explained that you could just do this jump for 10 minutes or for a count of 100, whatever you need.
High Knees – Jump with the knees reaching as high as comfortable. It looked like taking really big steps.
Steps – Jumping rope while walking forward and backwards.
Side-To-Side – Jump laterally right, then left.
Doubles – Jump high while bringing the jump rope around the body twice. This is an advanced move.
Dr. Oz: New Legislation Improves School Lunches
Dr. Oz highlighted the organization Health Corps [founded by Dr. and Mrs. Oz] that works to empower students about the power of health. Over 140,000 students will take part in the program this year which strives to and improve lives one meal at a time. [Click here to visit the Health Corps website and learn more.]
Mrs. Obama said this year marks new legislation effecting school lunch program. It's the first major change made to the school lunch program in 15 years. She explained that million of kids are getting 50% of their calories at school. The current administration was able to pass new legislation that has created positive impacts on the meals children receive in schools.
Before the new legislation passed, Mrs. Obama said, 4,000 schools adopted the changes without the need for additional funding showing that the changes were easy.
This new legislation, however, also increased funding to the school lunch program. She said this is the first time in 30 years that there has been a funding increase to the school lunch program. It's shocking, said Mrs. Obama and Dr. Oz agreed, that there has not been an increase in 3 decades.
Mrs. Obama served up school lunchs to some very discerning customers – kids! Three kids were chosen to try examples of three new lunches.
Dr. Oz New School Lunch #1: Turkey Sandwich
Before, a common school lunch would consist of a bean burrito with a box of apple juice. There was no fruit and no vegetables on the plate, a common occurrence under the old program.
After, with new legislation, a school lunch will consist of a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, jicama or other fruit, and sliced sweet peppers. Mrs. Obama explained that whole grains in the bread will stay with kids longer providing the energy they need for the day.
“That's good!” Said the kid taste-tester who then got the opportunity to ask the First Lady a question. Do her kids watch much TV? Mrs. Obama said that her girls have limits on their screen time. There is no TV allowed during the week and only a couple of hours of screen time allowed on the weekends.
Dr. Oz New School Lunch #2: Whole Grain Pizza
Before, a pizza school lunch would consist of white crust cheese pizza with fried tater tots and chocolate milk. After, a pizza lunch is a slice of whole grain cheese pizza with fresh tomatoes, baked sweet potato fries and applesauce.
JT, the lucky taster, was inhaling the whole grain pizza. He asked Mrs. Obama if she ever got scared sleeping in the White House because it's so big? Mrs. Obama said where they live within the White House feels cozy and like home. She said she's never actually alone as the Secret Service is always close and she feels safe in the White House.
Dr. Oz New School Lunch #3: Whole Grain Pasta
Before, a typical school lunch would be a hot dog on a white flour bun with ketchup and chocolate milk. Now, a typical lunch is whole grain pasta with tomato sauce, broccoli, string beans, cauliflower and kiwi. The whole grains make a huge difference in the nutritional value of the meal, reiterated Mrs. Obama.
“It's really good!” Said Rachael, the taste-tester. Rachel asked if the First Lady ever walked around the White House in her pajamas? Mrs. Obama said that her house is on the second and third floor of the White House, it's a lot like a condo. She said the ground floor is a public area and she makes sure she's dressed and has make-up on before going downstairs.
For the first time in a generation, said Dr. Oz, there have been healthy changes to school lunches. Dr. Oz thanked Mrs. Obama from the bottom of his heart for the positive changes she is creating.
Dr. Oz: The First Lady Answers Audience Questions
What do you eat for family dinner at the White House?
Mrs. Obama says the President loves a steak dinner with the family's favorite vegetable broccoli. They eat a mixed diet that includes fish often and pasta less often, usually when the President is on the road. There's a pizza night with whole wheat crust and most meals, she said, include a salad and vegetables on the side.
What activities do you do with your daughters to get them moving?
Mrs. Obama said their favorite activity is to turn on the radio and dance. She knows the latest dance moves by learning them from her daughters. Her youngest daughter, she shared, plays basketball and the President was an assistant parent coach for the team last year. Her oldest daughter has made the tennis team in high school. Mrs. Obama said she and her husband try to play with the kids as much as possible but dancing is the go-to activity.
Dr. Oz Viewer “Firsts”
Dr. Oz said that talking with the First Lady got him to thinking of important firsts in people's lives. It's so important to set goals, work hard and feel the joy in achieving them. Dr. Oz asked viewers to share some of their amazing “firsts”.
- Lost 100 pounds and got her health back. For the first time she road a bike for 100 miles in day.
- At age 28 she beat ovarian cancer and celebrated by sky diving for the first time.
- She started out at 250 pounds and lost all the extra weight.
- She is a working single mom who went back to school and got her first degree.
- She lost weight and taught her first fitness class.
- After losing 50 pounds, she bought her first bikini.
- She chose to live for herself and overcome her fear of flying. She has taken her first plane flight.
- Her son took his first steps.
- As a smoker, she could hardly breath. She quit smoking, overhauled her health, and is now a certified triathlon coach.
- Going to the doctor for the first time in years, she got a clean bill of health.
[If women just like can make these amazing changes in their lives for the sake of their health, so can you. Take action and take charge of your health!]
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