Speaking to the National Council of La Raza Tuesday afternoon, First Lady Michelle Obama shared her deep love of Chicago soul food with the Hispanic activists, but warned Hispanic parents that they could be putting their kids in danger by feeding them too much.
The First Lady noted that changes in the modern family life were affecting Hispanic families in America.
“Sadly all these changes and how we live and eat are having a devastating effect on our children’s health,” she said. “Right now nearly 40 percent Hispanic children in this country are overweight or obese – nearly 50 percent are on track to develop diabetes.”
Michelle Obama noted that Hispanics were also worried about the safety of their children – citing it as a reason that Hispanic children weren’t as active as white children.
“Compared to white parents, nearly five times more Hispanic parents report that safety is a barrier to their kids being active,” Obama said. “Hispanic kids ages 9-13 are only half as likely to participate in organized physical activity outside of school.”
The First Lady recalled the days in her Chicago neighborhood when her grandfather would cook her family barbecued ribs, cheeseburgers and milkshakes – admitting that it was easy to believe that in America, “food is love.”
“While food might be love – the truth is that we are loving ourselves and our kids to death,” she warned. “So we need to step up.”