First lady visits N.O., addresses obesity in Latino community

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wwltv.com

Posted on July 23, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 23 at 6:43 PM

Sheba Turk / Eyewitness News
Email: sturk@wwltv.com | Twitter: @shebaturk

NEW ORLEANS - First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at the National Council of La Raza Conference in New Orleans on Tuesday. She was the keynote speaker for conference here in New Orleans.

It was the first time NCLR is holding its annual conference in the Crescent City. The meeting focused on discussing important issues in the Latino community.

It brought thousands of people to the city and had a nearly $6 million impact.

Organizers hoped that by bringing the conference to New Orleans, they would raise awareness of the growing Latino community in the area.

Obama talked about the problem of childhood obesity, which has particular significance to the Latino community.

The percentage of children who are overweight or obese is disproportionately higher in the Hispanic community. Nearly 40 percent of Latino children are, compared to one-third of the entire population.

Hispanic children aged nine to 13 are only half as likely to participate in organized physical activity outside school.

Hispanic neighborhoods have roughly one-third as many chain supermarkets as other communities.

"I eat a balance diet diet and I workout every single day of the week, but let me tell you something- While I am here in New Orleans, everyone understand, I am not leaving this city without a good meal," joked Michelle Obama.

"I think she hit it right on the mark. We need to focus on healthcare reform and get people enrolled so they can have healthcare and they'll be able to have their children have healthcare," added a conference attendee.
 
The first lady wrapped up by encouraging everyone to come back and educate those around them about healthcare reform. Then she said, "Que Dios le bendiga!" which means "God Bless."

Obama's "Let's Move!" initiative is focused on addressing these issues and ensuring that all children grow up healthy and reach their full potential.

The NCLR conference is not the first time the first lady has stopped by south Louisiana.

During one trip to the area in 2010, she commended St. Tammany Parish schools for their work, especially in the face of devastation from Hurricane Katrina. She also talked about her "Let's Move!" campaign.



 

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