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How Hawaii is Sticking to the Let’s Move Campaign


Image Source: (, Frolic Hawaii)

Michelle Obama’s visit to MA’O Organic Farms

As you may have heard, the Obama administration — specifically Michelle Obama — has been promoting her Let’s Move campaign for a few years now. The past three decades have seen childhood obesity rates in America triple, with one in three children in this country who are overweight or obese. In fact, according to the Let’s Move website, children born in 2000 or later are projected to suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives, with increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma.

The Let’s Move campaign aims to obliterate those numbers by instilling healthy eating and exercise practices in today’s youth. This initiative aims to solve the challenge of childhood obesity within one generation, paving the way for a healthier future for our children. Part of that involves incorporating healthier foods in schools and encouraging at least 60 minutes of activity for each child each day.

The First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off her initiative back in 2011 by visiting an organic farm in Oahu. She had a plan for improving the health of surrounding communities by promoting healthy eating, meeting with the many interns who help run one of the island’s largest organic farms. As part of the Mala ?Ai ?Opio Community Food Systems Initiative, MA?O was established in 2001 to recognize two very important assets of our world today: land and youth. An acronym for mala (garden) ?ai (food) ?opio (youth) or youth food garden, this farm strives to restore a thriving community food and education system in Wai?anae.

Nestled on 24 acres of farmland in Lualualei Valley, the nonprofit MA’O Organic Farms raises healthy crops for local consumption while inspiring a new generation of leaders who are devoted to their land and heritage. Michelle Obama told the group about her White House Kitchen Garden and how it has inspired her to launch the nationwide “Let’s Move” campaign.

MA’O Organic Farms is a diversified farm that specializes in growing 35 fruits and vegetables that are used in the island’s best restaurants and within homes as well. The mission of the farm is to connect more local students with the college of their choice while promoting food self-sufficiency. The Kauhale Youth Leadership Training Program is the organization that recruits high school graduates to come and intern at the farm, putting in a solid 20-hour work week in exchange for full tuition waivers and monthly stipends.

Michelle Obama’s visit to MA’O Organic Farms was just the first step on the journey to getting back to the basics when it comes to healthy living. Approximately 600,000 people in Hawaii have pre-diabetes or diabetes, while one in three American adults are affected by the disease, according to the American Diabetes Association. Organic farms like MA’O, with help from initiatives like the Let’s Move campaign, aims to drastically reduce those numbers.

If you find yourself on a visit to an organic farm like MA’O Organic Farms while in Oahu, please feel free to look up Hoku Hawaii Tours. We can fill in the rest of your vacation with an educational tour experience.