Michelle Obama Touts "Mi Plato" Healthy Foods Campaign in Tampa

Laura Garay waits outside the National Supermarket
TAMPA (2012-1-26) -

First Lady Michelle Obama visited a supermarket in West Tampa to kick off a Spanish-language version of her drive for healthy eating.

The first lady is partnering with Tampa's Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic-owned business in the country. The company will place "mi plato" - or my plate - icons on healthy food products. They're also putting out pamphlets and posters for healthy eating.

"It’s a framework that any family can use," she said. "Any culture can interpret the plate in a way that is true to their traditions. You just fill up half of the plate with fruits and vegetables, you start there, and you fill the rest of it with lean proteins, whole grains, low-fat dairy products. It is just that simple."

While the First Lady spoke inside the National Supermarket on Waters Avenue, a crowd of mostly Hispanic supporters cheered outside.

SOUND: Michelle! Michelle!

Laura Garay stood among the throng, clutching a Spanish-language copy of the president's book "Dreams From My Father." The substitute teacher from New Port Richey was born in Nicaragua. Because of the First Lady, she recently started exercising for the first time in her life, and hopes Michelle Obama's healthy foods campaign will also bear fruit.

"Since I've worked in the schools, everything she's doing - from the "Let's Move" organization is the best thing she's every done," says Garay. "Because I see the lunches in the school, and some of them - like the nuggets - is not good for the kids. Especially for the chubby - most of the kids, and the soda's no good, either."

Mrs. Obama told the crowd that Hispanic neighborhoods have one-third as many supermarkets as other areas, which has led to high levels of obesity among Latinos. This program, she says, can reverse that trend.

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