This week I was asked by Google to submit a video question for First Lady Michelle Obama to be considered for her first ever “Fireside Hangout” on Google+ which will air live on the White House Google+ Page as well as the Let’s Move! YouTube channel at 11:10 am ET on March 4th.

I’m honored to be asked and excited about this opportunity to share my concerns about the health of our children and families. For years I have had a special interest in family nutrition and obesity prevention after seeing children gain weight in front of my eyes, during my 17 years serving this community.

In order for my video question to be included in the “Fireside Hangout”, I need your help! Video and question submissions will be chosen by the highest vote from the public.

My question for Mrs. Obama is: 

How can community leaders and parents start a conversation with their local school districts about how to improve the quality of food offered to our children during school hours?

Instructions for voting for my video question:

1. Click this link to go to the Let’s Move! YouTube Channel. If my question has enough votes, it will be on the first page, if you do not see it, follow these instructions:

2. Go to the right hand column and sort by date to see the most recent submissions (we submitted this afternoon).

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3. Look for my video – it looks like this:

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4. Check the Thumbs Up icon to vote for my question.

I believe that federal law should increase the budget for the school lunch program. We are the richest country in the world and yet we are only budgeting $2-3 per meal for our kids. I propose a pilot school program where we allow schools to prepare their own lunch, designed by health professionals together with chefs. I know it has be done before, but there must be a coordinated effort to get every school district interested, educated, and involved. The need for change is urgent. I want to ask Mrs. Obama what the Let’s Move! program can do to facilitate more involvement from the local school districts in preparing high quality meals from scratch.

Health care professionals are working with their hands tied behind their backs. Did you know that insurance carriers deny a claim coming from a primary care doctor if the diagnosis is obesity? If we, primary care doctors don’t address this issue, who is going to? Do we have to wait until the child is an adult and the claim becomes one for cardiac bypass or diabetes treatment? I am going to send Mrs. Obama a letter and ask how she can engage health care providers and convince insurance companies to treat obesity as a medical illness.

I want to know how can I help and how we can help each other. I hope you do to and would appreciate your comments and questions.

The problem is real and the solutions are past due. Please vote for my question to be included in the Fireside Hangout.

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.