A Letter From Honorary Chair Michelle Obama

Image of a mom and a son embracing.

When we created Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) in 2010 to address America’s childhood obesity epidemic, we knew we couldn’t solve this problem within a single presidential administration. We also knew that government certainly didn’t have all the answers – not by a longshot.

In my final days as First Lady, I committed to continuing that work long after I left the White House. And as I’ve taken on my new role as a private citizen and continued to serve as PHA’s Honorary Chair, I’m proud of all that we’ve accomplished together:

With our Drink Up campaign encouraging Americans to drink more water, we saw water edge out sugary drinks to become the nation’s number one beverage.

We partnered with our first retail association – the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) – an organization that represents a full third of the industry. To date, eight NACS retail members representing nearly 2,000 store locations in 26 states have signed PHA commitments to provide more healthy meal and snack options for busy shoppers.

Our Healthier Campus Initiative reached an important milestone, as 21 colleges and universities provided healthier food and more opportunities for physical activity to more than one million students, faculty,
and staff. Many also launched programs providing free healthy groceries and meals for disadvantaged students and their families.

Collectively serving one million children each year, our early childhood education partners continued to expand their efforts to keep America’s youngest kids on track to grow up healthy. For example, the Learning Care Group, the second largest for-profit childcare provider in North America, has introduced new nutrition, fitness, and gardening initiatives for the 130,000 children in its 900 schools across the country.

Finally, recognizing that the healthy choice isn’t always the affordable choice for low-income families, PHA partnered with Feeding America, a nationwide network including 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs that reach 46 million Americans per year.

Over the next seven years, Feeding America has promised to increase its focus on nutrition and health and provide more fruits and vegetables to those in need.

A portrait of PHA's Honorary Chair Former First Lady Michelle Obama. In the coming years, I know PHA and its partners will build on these successes and keep finding new ways to help kids and families across this country lead healthier lives. And I look forward to my continued passionate involvement in this critically important work.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama

Honorary Chair

Next: The PHA Framework

Related Reading