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Michelle Obama

First Lady of the United States, Mother of Malia and Sasha

"The number of children with asthma has more than doubled since 1980, and this epidemic disproportionately affects minority communities. As a society, we need to help parents in the inner city live in clean environments that aren’t dangerous to their children’s health. There are both genetic and environmental factors to asthma, but genetics change too slowly to explain the spike in cases we’ve seen recently. Clearly we’re not doing a good enough job addressing the environmental causes.

From my experience in health care, I know that a lot of what contributes to the crisis is people not taking adequate care of themselves on the front end. In addition to living in unhealthy communities, our children eat poorly and exercise less. They spend more time indoors, in front of the TV, where so many other asthma triggers reside. All of this together weakens their immune systems. So we need to make our children’s environments healthier."

From HEALTHY CHILD HEALTHY WORLD. Reprinted by arrangement with Plume, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Copyright (c) 2009 by Healthy Child Healthy World.

To read more from the First Lady and many more, pick up your copy of our book, Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home, today.

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