Building on her efforts in the White House with her Let’s Move! initiative, Mrs. Obama is guiding PLEZi Nutrition’s mission to be a model for how food and beverage brands can support the health of our younger generations.

At The Wall Street Journal‘s recent Future of Everything
Festival
,
former First Lady Michelle Obama delivered closing remarks on the state of
children’s health in the US and urged the thousands of industry leaders in
the room and watching online to be part of the change that will help this
generation of kids grow into a healthier future. As part of her remarks, Obama
announced the launch of PLEZi Nutrition — a Public Benefit
Company on a mission to create higher standards for how the US makes and markets
food and beverages for kids.

The US is in a nutrition-related health
crisis
.
Kids are not getting the recommended
levels

of nutrients they need, and they are consuming far too much added
sugar

— on average, 53
pounds

of added sugar per year. Sugar-sweetened beverages are the leading source of
added sugar — and nearly
two-thirds

of youth consume sugary drinks on a given day.

Building on her efforts in the White House with her Let’s
Move!
 initiative,
Mrs. Obama is working behind-the-scenes as a co-founder and strategic partner of
PLEZi Nutrition to guide the company’s mission to drive change and be a model
for how food and beverage brands can support the health of our younger
generations.

“I’ve learned that on this issue, if you want to change the game, you can’t just
work from the outside. You’ve got to get inside — you’ve got to find ways to
change the food and beverage industry itself,” Obama said in her closing
remarks

at the Future of Everything Festival. “I’m proud to announce the national launch of
a company designed not just to provide better products, but to jumpstart a race
to the top that will transform the entire food industry.”

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The long-overdue but better-late-than-never recognition in the US that proper
nutrition — rather than reactive regimens of pharmaceuticals — is a cornerstone
of good health at every age has created a burgeoning industry centered on
healthy, balanced, tasty food options (think companies such as One Step
Foods

and Jennifer Garner’s Once Upon a Farm
line). PLEZi Nutrition adds to these efforts by offering parents healthier,
great-tasting products that kids actually want — with lower sugar content and
sweetness to help adjust kids’ palates to crave less sweetness, while adding in
nutrients kids need.

PLEZi Nutrition’s first product — a drink called
PLEZi — has 75 percent less sugar
than average leading 100 percent fruit juices, plus fiber and nutrients such as
potassium, magnesium and zinc. Currently available in four flavors nationwide at
Target and Sprouts and online at Walmart, PLEZi’s goal is to be
available anywhere you can buy a soda or sports drink. The company plans to
expand into additional beverages and snacks in the years ahead.

In her remarks, Mrs. Obama also announced a “Kitchen Cabinet” advisory group of
experts in nutrition, public health and parenting who will guide and advise the
company’s educational efforts, as well as marketing approaches and product
development. The PLEZi Nutrition Kitchen Cabinet Advisory Committee members
include:

  • Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, President Emerita and former CEO of the
    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Professor Emerita, RWJF
    Population Health and Health Equity
    , Perelman School of Medicine,
    University of Pennsylvania

  • Emily Oster, PhD, Professor at Brown University, NYT best-selling
    author, public health economist, and parenting expert

  • Christina Economos, PhD, Professor of Nutrition and the New Balance
    Chair in Childhood Nutrition
    at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science
    and Policy
    at Tufts University

  • Donna Martin, EdS, RDN, SNS, Director School Nutrition Program, Burke
    County, Georgia Schools

  • Shale Wong, MD, MSPH, Pediatrician and Professor of Pediatrics and
    Family Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine;
    Director of the Eugene S. Farley, Jr. Health Policy Center; and Vice
    Chair for Policy and Advocacy in the Department of Pediatrics

  • Debra Eschmeyer, former Executive Director of Let’s Move! and Senior
    Advisor to President Barack Obama for Nutrition Policy; founder and
    partner of public affairs agency Original Strategies, food systems
    policy expert, and Chair of the PLEZi Nutrition Kitchen Cabinet.

In another component of PLEZi Nutrition’s efforts to make a meaningful impact on
kids’ health, Mrs. Obama announced an initial donation of $1 million to
FoodCorpsNourishing Futures
initiative — which is working to ensure all 50 million students across the
country have access to nutrition education and free school meals by 2030. Going
forward, PLEZi Nutrition will be investing 10 percent of profits back into the
broader movement to promote kids’ health.

Along with creating better products, PLEZi Nutrition will also provide an
educational platform for parents and kids. A sizable portion of the marketing
budget will be dedicated to promotional content around what’s best for kids’
health — including actively promoting drinking water and eating whole fruits
and
vegetables.

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