First lady visits Atlanta church, encourages healthy living
First lady Michelle Obama visits Northpoint Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, on Wednesday.
February 9th, 2011
07:23 PM ET

First lady visits Atlanta church, encourages healthy living

By John Murgatroyd, CNN

The faith community surrounding Atlanta played host to first lady Michelle Obama for a speech marking the first anniversary of her Let’s Move initiative.

Let’s Move is a program to get children to live more active lifestyles and eat healthier.

Co-hosts were Northpoint Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, and Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Georgia. She spoke in Alpharetta.

“No matter your religious persuasion or political persuasion, we all believe as our children go, so does the nation and as our children’s health goes, so does the nation,” said Andy Stanley, Northpoint’s senior pastor.

“Children are a gift from God. Each one deserves to live life to the fullest and see their dreams come true,” said Cynthia Hale, pastor at Ray of Hope. “Ray of Hope joins with Mrs. Obama in creating healthy lifestyles for our families,” she said.

While her speech did not focus on the church’s mission within Let’s Move, Obama encouraged congregations to get involved with their parishioners.

Let's Move marks first anniversary

“We’re supporting faith leaders who want to build healthier congregations,” she said. “So why not start an exercise ministry where folks inspire each other to get active. Or host cooking classes that teach families to prepare healthier meals."

“It was very inspiring,” said Atlanta resident Carla Lindsay. “I was a little surprised she came to the church, but I’m glad,” she said. Lindsay explained the message is being delivered in a family atmosphere, where it can spread.

“Being African-American, we are suffering being fed on tradition,” said Atlanta resident Shirley Simmons. She said it was “awesome” that  Obama delivered her speech to the faith community.

“This (pointing to her body) is our temple. We only get one. You are what you eat,” Simmons said.

“I eat right, I exercise and I pray everyday,” said Michelle Wilson of Stockbridge, Georgia. Wilson, a nurse, said it’s a better way to live instead of living in a “microwave society where everything is so quick.”

Earlier in the day, the first lady visited Burgess-Peterson Academy in East Atlanta to discuss healthy eating with the students and visit the school's organic garden.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Faith & Health • Georgia

soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. JRL

    @NamVet stop using your education to insult ppl and use it to do some good in this world. Also, instead of using a thesaurus learn how to use the words.

    February 10, 2011 at 12:18 am |
  2. NamVet

    The wingnut whiner who haven't been to church (in spirit) lately will post all kinds of trash in an attempt to justify their positions. Too late, their ignorance supersedes efforts to hide the evidence.

    February 10, 2011 at 12:11 am |
  3. Reality

    Obviously, BO to include his wife won the presidency on the backs of 35 million aborted womb babies and therefore is the leader of the Immoral Majority i.e. the fastest growing USA voting bloc: The 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year.

    2008 Presidential popular vote count 69,456,897 for BO 59,934,814 for JM

    What BO and his wife can do to at least lift part of the Immoral Majority label?

    He says abortions should be "safe, legal and rare" but says nothing about the basic tenet of proper human conduct i.e. Thou Shalt Not Kill. And where is BO's sense of indignation that abortions are not rare and that these acts of horror demean the Golden Rule considering that he says he is a Christian. And where is his sense of indignation that women who use the Pill do not use it properly resulting in an failure rate of 8.7% as per the Gu-ttmacher Inst-itute statistics. Using these and other Gu-ttmacher Insti-tute data, this failure of women to use the Pill properly results in ~1,000,000 unplanned pregnancies every year. And the annual abortion rate in the USA is?? ~1,000,000 as per the CDC.

    And do males use co-ndoms properly? No, as said failure rate for this birth "control" method is 17.4%!! Again using Gu-ttmacher data, said failure rate results in another ~1,000,000 unplanned pregnancies every year.

    The Gu-ttmacher Insti-tute (same reference) notes also that the perfect use of the pill should result in a 0.3% failure rate (35,000 unplanned pregnancies) and for the male condom, a 2% failure rate (138,000 unplanned pregnancies).

    Bottom line: BO is still not aware of the basics of birth control and still remains the leader of the Immoral Majority and will remain so until he becomes a true Christian and one who respects and protects human life in all its forms and who at least emphasizes the proper use of birth control methods!!!

    February 9, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
  4. Mike

    She make taxpayers spend $100/lb for Kobe beef for her family and friends. She reminds me of Marie Antoinette.

    February 9, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
  5. PabloD

    If you're going to give a speech in a Christian church, it should be about Christ, not about exercise or food.

    February 9, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • JRL

      @pabloD 🙂 my husband is an ordained minister, going back to seminary with changing denominations, but said " good point" 🙂 Personal reasons won't say more, but tks for seeing the truth.

      February 9, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
  6. JRL

    @SAM lk told family member here with me, I knew someone would say something based on little info of knowing both sides. I went to church for those reasons yes. I grew up knowing church, Christians as living how they preached. That's not the case anymore. I will still serve God when I find the best place for me & who supports the congregation as a whole. Again, I'm not for just one sidedness but Everyone involved. To me it's quite selfish & lacks balance of any kind otherwise regardless of whether I or others had problems or not. I take FULL responsibility for this problem starting, but has NOT Kept it going. People that know me and not just reading a blog or comments on stuff know that. Believe me taking strength from this just may end it all for me as when stuff isn't taught in balance, as a human being, ppl (kids even) will be taken to the other extreme. You can learn more about the human mind to know that. Most ppl don't read magazines and say I'm okay; I don't need to diet, lose weight etc. which is why so many have poor body image, self esteem. The numbers didn't just start increasing for no reason. It was because of the obsession of all this mess. Anyway, talking with family about maybe needing to leave this country as it's bad but not this bad as here. Maybe, can make it that way.

    February 9, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
  7. Brian from Washington

    A note to conservatives: Just pretend that Laura Bush or Nancy Reagan advocated healthy lifestyles for children and you'd fall to your knees in unrestrained praise.

    February 9, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • Mary

      Brian, this is so true. Thanks for drawing that picture for these "Michelle haters."

      February 9, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • JRL

      @ Mary, I don't 'hate" michelle. First off that's a strong word & that's speaking for me too, which I don't like. Matter fact though, I don't play party games but vote by candidate usually different every term tbh. I think she herself is a great person, but I don't like the way this has been a one sided issue and if wasn't for certain organizations not everyone would have been included in the campaign at all.

      February 9, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  8. cce

    I'm not in agreement with a lot of Pres. Obama's policies (and that's an understatement), but I believe this is a worthy endeavor. I'm only 30, but my kids are growing up very differently than I did. I would play outside until well after dark, and my parents would have to threaten me to get me to come inside. My children are inside all day playing games.
    Granted, I don't have the same housing situation as my parents, but I do see the sedentary lifestyle affecting them despite my best efforts.

    February 9, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • JRL

      @cce I agree & understand you greatly as imagine a lot of ppl are in your shoes as parents & family members of mine. I honestly do think something needs to be done, but it needs to be in a right way and with good intentions for everyone regardless of your size. Things need to be addressed taken into everyone in account. You can throw info out there and hope it comes out okay. Parents are beginning to be at a loss how to help, what to do as being told new messages everyday. Technology is indeed a huge problem and if you ask me helped add to the numbers of overweight ppl going up. We punch buttons to do almost anything instead of other countries for one example, walking up a hill to get a bucket of water or something. I wish I could help more, on both ends yours, others trying to get help in this area and the other end as well.

      February 9, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
  9. JRL

    tks Mrs Obama/others, for making my eating disorder struggling with now many years, much worse and now fighting for my life. No, didn't cause it but has made it much worse. Other ppl near where I live have also developed borderline issues because of too much focus on this crap.. This country has, yet, to teach balance of any kind, but only exercise for the wrong reasons mostly or diet (which always backfires) or eating healthier. Yeah, I eat healthier too. That could mean more than one thing if not stated directly. I've quit going to my own church for participating in this crap. You can encourage ppl in or out of church, but to be honest where qualified ppl are available. I bet this article not many knew about either..the whole truth & how things to need to change to help 'everyone'. I would imagine too, not many know eating disorder awareness week is February 20-26th with one sidedness overshadowing things.

    February 9, 2011 at 10:46 pm |

      I thought you went to Church to give thanks to God and worship and praise our loving God. Then why would you stop? Take some responsibility for yourself and your issues and allow those that need the motivation of the 1st Lady to assist them continue to garner strength to move and exercise and eat properly.

      February 9, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • Q

      With all due respect, obesity and obesity-related illness is a national health crisis. Advocating for a healthier lifestyle, specifically focusing on those communities which are disproportionately at risk, in no rational way translates into the 1st lady adversely contributing to your personal struggle.

      February 10, 2011 at 12:01 am |
  10. Justina

    I think it's useless now the planet is too polluted. Christians should invite the Amish people for lectures and seminars.

    February 9, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
  11. Andy

    Healthy living is cheap. most of us just too lazy to cook. American like all conveniences, fast, and easy. This why we cant compete with labor from other country. You are what you eat. There are many sources to get affordable healthy produces. Go to local produce store. Cut your meat consumption. When I see people have steak for breakfast and of course with heavy starch thing, i feel so sorry for their body, Or see fat people go to buffet restaurant .
    I live with my hubby, I spend $100-$125 a week for grocery, eat in the restaurant once a week.
    One thing that I wished Government to do, ban pork. It is so unhealthy food.

    February 9, 2011 at 10:41 pm |

      If you ban pork to satisfy one group, then you'll have to ban beef to satisfy another. I think crab, lobster and shrimp are scavengers of the sea. Do I get to have those banned? Chill out with the banning stuff, if you don't like it, then don't eat. Simple..

      February 9, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
  12. catmom

    Good grief

    “Children are a gift from God. Each one deserves to live life to the fullest and see their dreams come true"

    Tell that to your abortion-loving husband who declares if his daughters ever "make a mistake," he doesn't want them punished with a baby.

    February 9, 2011 at 10:15 pm


    Oh, good grief. The President is not wanting to insert government into the personal lives of the American people. Unlike you, he expects that women just might be able to make a decision for themselves without the government. That does not mean he his abortion-loving, it means he thinks that the individual should decide what is in their best interest based on their conditions which none of you people have a clue about.

    Now, what is interesting is listening to people go on and on about abortions and Republicans trying to insert themselves into the lives of women but these same people have a problem with the government mandate for health insurance. If you can tell a woman what she can and can not do with her body then you should also be able to tell people that they have to purchase some form of health insurance. I'm just sayin.......

    February 9, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Good grief

      You did not read "government" in my entire post – and it had nothing to do with "inserting government." Please re-read before you assume. I quoted two people and did not even follow-up with an opinion (except for maybe abortion "loving.)

      But thank you for your "opinion."

      February 9, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
    • Good grief

      By the way, when you say "insert themselves into the lives of women," does that include unborn women? The ones who we "can tell them what to do with their bodies?" You know, the lives that we end – those future women too? The ones with the hopes and dreams Michelle was talking about....

      Just sayin....

      February 9, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • Q

      GG- When you're willing to advocate for mandatory organ donation, then perhaps you'll have a rational leg to stand on when declaring autonomous women should have no control over their own bodies. Well, what do you say? Should the government be able to force one of your kidneys be donated to preserve another?

      February 10, 2011 at 12:09 am |
  13. Good grief

    “Children are a gift from God. Each one deserves to live life to the fullest and see their dreams come true"

    Tell that to your abortion-loving husband who declares if his daughters ever "make a mistake," he doesn't want them punished with a baby.

    February 9, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • ack

      Oh my, you're just not very bright are you?

      February 9, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • Good grief

      I didn't exaggerate on either quote. Your measurement of "bright" is subjective and you don't know enough about me to draw a conclusion – since you're not "bright" enough to realize this yourself, just thought I would help you out.

      February 9, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • Give Me A Break

      Of course you did exaggerate on both quotes... and no one 'loves' abortion you idiot .. what I find really annoying is those who gripe about government involvement in their lives and then want to tell others what they can do with thiers. To many pro lifers are all for forcing women to have a baby but don't want one dime of their taxes going to evil socialist programs like WIC or Food Stamps.. can't have it both ways.

      February 9, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • Good grief

      I exaggerated on both quotes even though I quoted both of them exactly. Hmmmmmm....

      February 9, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Sadly, That is exactly what Pres. Obama said!

      February 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
  14. Organic Food prices

    Eatting healthy isnt cheap specially organic food prices what is the first lady and obama doing to bring down The prices of eating organic. What are they doing to combat companys like monsantos and genetically modified food? pesticides and poisons in the food supply?these are all questions you should be asking The first lady and Obama?

    February 9, 2011 at 9:56 pm |

      Free enterprise dictates prices of Organics. You want to govt. to regulate that? The govt. has the EPA to monitor the pesticides in our foods. That's not for the President or 1st lady to do. Govt. agencies are in tact to assist in those areas.

      February 9, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
  15. retire09

    Thanks Mrs. Obama

    February 9, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
  16. sagewy

    healthy living costs money,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,how is the economy and what is the prez doing about it?

    February 9, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • fartzmcgee

      Why do fat poor people always say eating crap food is cheap? As a poor person, I can say I never eat fast food because it costs too much. It'll cost $6-$8 for a man to eat lunch at a fast food joint. I usually spend less than $1 on my lunch and my wife makes dinners for the entire family for less than $5 most nights, from scratch, avoiding the center of the supermarket and the crap food aisles. It's a sorry excuse that people use that eating right is expensive, it's not, just the opposite is true.

      February 9, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • Wren

      @fartzmcgee – Actually, the cost of healthier foods IS more expensive than junk food, even if you cook mostly from scratch (which I do). For example:

      Bag of apples = $3 vs. Box of snack cakes = $1.25
      Whole grain bread = $3-$5 per loaf vs. White bread = $1.00
      90% lean beef = $4-$6 lb vs. 75% Lean beef = $2-$3 lb

      Just about any healthier selection of food from a supermarket costs almost double the price of the cheap generic. And people can only lower the cost of meals if they actually know how to COOK. Sadly, in a generation of microwave meals, this is a skill that many seem to lack.

      February 10, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  17. Bill

    First ladies got a big butt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sorry, couldn't help it 🙂

    February 9, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • Mark

      now thats funny, dont care who you are, you have to laugh...

      February 9, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • Commojoe

      Yes, she does have a large backside, and her husband said their kids were chunky, too, so who is SHE to be telling anyone else what, how much, or what types of food to eat? She had better take care of her own family and make sure her husband's supposed kicking the habit of chain-smoking holds.

      February 10, 2011 at 1:31 am |
  18. trex

    My First Lady is in the lead to get our fat, (and if you don't think so you are blind,) kids to exercise and eat a better diet than the advertised BK's, Micky D's, Taco Bell's around the corner of every town. Well, she either wants kids to be able to grow old and enjoy their life, or she is a socialist. PS: Palin was out back slipping the kids extra large lard sandwiches, extra cheese.

    February 9, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
    • tim Ricard

      how is this a poltical issue, Palin does not work for the fast food, oil componies are a different story...

      February 9, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • Bill

      Careful, the implications of owning a black women (my first lady) sound pretty racist.

      February 9, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • LAD

      Our school system is federally funded and it's the school lunch cafateria making kids obese! After a certain age kids are too embarassed to take a lunch box to school that contains healthy food and they eat the junk that is on the school menu! That is why the majority of kids are getting fat! Even with my daughter being in sports she still got fat from the school luches that are federal funded lunches! I invite the First Lady to come on down to Lee County Florida un-announced and go to each school to eat lunch to see how many pounds you will gain before you head back to Washington! Not being mean its just the truth! Plus, the FDA approves juices with no real nutrients that are extremely fattening among other foods sold at stores! Time to clamp down on the FDA to stop obesity too! May as well have the FDA ban opiates to stop the high death! Anyone who really needs opiates should go to the hospital to get them dispensed right at the hospital if that person also get MRI at that same hospital that proves a real injury worthy of the deadly opiate class drugs. FDA needs to stop allowing these drug manufacturers from dispensing directly to pain clinic mills! I feed my daughter all health food and believe it or not she was tested positive as malnourished despite eating healthy... why you might like to know? Because all of the chemicals that the FDA approves in our food supply causes malabsorption in most any human being besides causing cancer! Church is the wrong place to preach about nutrients! I've given some very important direction to make a big difference for the People of the U.S. and our children!

      February 10, 2011 at 1:41 am |
  19. Cheri Walka

    Thank you First Lady for carrying such a worthy baton. The job you are doing is much needed and welcomed. Thank you, Cheri Nate Walla's Mom

    February 9, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
  20. TheRationale

    And thus spoke the Lord, "Don't sit on your butt all day!"

    February 9, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • LAD

      If I were first Lady Michelle Obama I would be focused on working closely with the President to get all the Pain Clinic Mills in Florida shut down that are run by unethical doctors equal to drug lords whom are dispensing oxycodone-roxicodone-xanax to our youth and/or anyone who walks into these clinic's that is causing a very high death rate not only in Florida but across the U.S. since the drug dealers buy their opiates for pennies on the dollars that travel in from all states to Florida to doctor shop at these pain clinics. More than 75% of high school students are addicted and their parents have no clue until death happens! I attended 15 funerals of teenagers who died from overdoses in SW Florida! There are no appropriate treatment centers for opiate addiction that is just as severe as heroin addiction. Nutrition is a secondary matter compared to the serious opiate addiction destroying and killing off our youth ages 11-28! We can't feed dead children-teens-young adults so I'd say a shift in focus on much more important matters! Besides, we are in the great depression and people don't have enough money from their food stamps and/or cash to buy healthy food anymore anyway! If it weren't for food stamps dead people would be lined up on the streets from starvation like what was seen during the Great Depression! The State of Florida is the only un-regulated state when it comes to pain clinic mills that don't track which doctor is dispensing to which patients! This means the so called patient can go to 10 doctors per day load up on thousands upon thousands of opiate pills and either take the drugs and die or deal the drugs and kill others! Florida needs federal funding to STOP the illegal dispension of opiates by illegal doctors who run pain clinic's owned by actual felons who are DRUG LORDS! This is a National Epidemic all centered in Florida the main distributor of these drugs!

      February 10, 2011 at 12:55 am |
    • LAD

      So that you can better visualize the high death rate that is happening from pain clinic pill mills in Florida that will dispense to youth or anyone annually deaths 8,000 in Florida alone that would be like a sell-out concert at our local arena! Our federal government must shut down the 300+ pain clinic mills now! Kids-Teens-Adults if they need prescriptions they can get it from their regular MD's that would never hand narcotic's out to our youth like the pain clinic's are doing everyday in Florida! First Lady Michelle Obama please do something about this national epidemic that is centered right here in Florida to help stop all these high death rates! Get a law passed that will shut these pain clinic's down! Other states do not have these types of pain clinic mills that are regulated by states from federal funding! Ask China for a loan to shut these places down!

      February 10, 2011 at 1:20 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.