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First Lady Michelle Obama wants America to be healthy, but she also wants kids to be psychologically healthy. One thing she considers to be unhealthy is the weight obsession that is drilled into the heads of millions of young girls trying to live up to imagery they see in magazines. During a Google hangout hosted by Kelly Ripa this week, Mrs. Obama said that when it comes to her daughters, she refuses to discuss their weight.
One question came from Kishan Shah, who said she weighed 400 pounds when she was 19. That’s when the first lady helped the young girl know the difference between being healthy and just looking good.
“The first thing that we want to make sure that we do is not make this an issue about looks. We should really talk to kids about how they feel, how they feel inside, so that we’re not just dealing with the physical manifestations of the challenge, but we’re really tapping into what’s going on inside that head of that child.”
Mrs. Obama went further in explaining to the girl who asked the question that her daughters had experience similar challenges when trying to deal with the complexities of body image.
“I never talked about weight in the household,” she said. “We just started making changes. And we made changes in a way that didn’t make [Malia and Sasha] feel badly about themselves; it didn’t even make them feel any ownership over it. Because truly, kids that age can’t control what they eat. So as the mom, I took it upon myself to make sure that we just surrounded them with foods that were healthy and that they could eat whenever they wanted to. You just have to get the temptation out of the household wherever possible, and then just try to make activity fun.”