On ‘GMA,’ First Lady Campaigns Against Childhood Obesity

by | February 26, 2013 at 12:14 PM | Good Morning America, TV News

Michelle Obama (right) with Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America" (Photo: ABC)

Michelle Obama had children on her mind when she sat down for an interview with Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America.”

In the interview seen Tuesday morning on ABC, the First Lady discussed childhood obesity, children caught in the crossfire of inner-city violence, and her own children — daughters Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11.

One subject that didn’t come up: Mrs. Obama’s surprise appearance, via satellite, during the Oscars Sunday night — when she announced the show’s Best Picture winner, “Argo.” The reason: The Roberts interview was apparently taped some time last week in New York, before Roberts herself traveled out to L.A. to take part in ABC’s Oscar coverage.

The First Lady has been campaigning for greater awareness of childhood obesity for about three years. She told Roberts the effort is paying off. “We’ve really changed the conversation in this country,” Mrs. Obama said. (Full story on ABCNews.com here.)

“When we started, there were a lot of people in this country who would have never thought that childhood obesity was a health crisis. But now we’re starting to see some movement on this issue. Our kids are eating better at school. They’re moving more. And we’re starting … to see a change in the trends. We’re starting to see rates of obesity coming down like never before.”

She addressed the issue of violence and children when the conversation turned to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, and the sad story of Hadiya Pendleton, 15, a bystander in a public park who was shot to death in Chicago just days after she participated in inauguration festivities in Washington.

“She was standing out in a park with her friends in a neighborhood blocks away from where my kids … grew up, where our house is,” the First Lady said. “She had just taken a chemistry test. And she was caught in the line of fire because some kids had some automatic weapons they didn’t need. I just don’t want to keep disappointing our kids in this country. I want them to know that we put them first. That, you know, our rights and our privileges take a back seat when it comes to the safety of our children in this country.”

On the subject of her own kids, she talked about the experience of watching them grow up in the White House. “There’s nothing like the look on [her husband's] face when Malia dresses up for a party, and she’s heading out,” Mrs. Obama said. “She walks past him, and you can see his face sort of just drop a little bit. It’s like, ‘Who was that?’

“It remains to be seen how he’s gonna handle his daughters growing up, but he’s doing fine. So far so good. He’s a little gray. … People think the gray is from his job. It’s from his children.”