Mrs. Obama: 'Indian Country' Fights Obesity by Adding 'Buffalo Meat into School Lunches'

Penny Starr | October 8, 2012 | 4:02pm EDT
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The 47th annual Buffalo Roundup at Custer State Park in South Dakota on Sept. 24, 2012. (AP Photo)

( – In marking the one year anniversary of Let’s Move! in Indian Country, First Lady Michelle Obama praised the work done by Native American and Alaskan American communities in fighting childhood obestiy by, among other things, adding "traditional foods like buffalo meat into school lunches."

A year ago, Mrs. Obama joined Native American children in the White House garden to launch Let’s Move in Indian Country by planting the “three sisters”--corn, beans and squash.

“This is such an important issue,” Mrs. Obama said in the video marking the one-year anniversary of the program. “We know that children in American Indian and Alaskan Native communities experience higher rates of obesity.

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“We know they’re more likely to develop related diseases like Type II diabetes than the national averages,” Mrs. Obama said.

“But we also know that there are so many people in these communities who want to make a difference for the health of their kids,” Mrs. Obama said. “And that’s what has defined Let’s Move! in Indian Country in our first year.

“We’ve seen tribal nations develop food policy councils to examine the food habits of their communities,” Mrs. Obama said. “Schools have reintroduced Lacrosse programs. Native businesses are adding healthy, traditional foods like buffalo meat into school lunches.”

The Department of Interior states the goals of the Let’s Move! in Indian Country as: Creating a healthy start in life; developing healthy learning; communities increasing physical activities; and increasing access to affordable, healthy and traditional foods

“Let's Move! in Indian Country is a comprehensive initiative dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams,” the Department of Interior website states. “This is an ambitious goal. But with your help, we can do it."

Mrs. Obama said there is more left to do. "And that's where all of you come in," she said. "We need your help to get more schools serving healthy foods and finding new ways to get kids to get active."

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