February 2, 2012

Mrs. Michelle Obama
First Lady of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C.  20500

Dear Mrs. Obama:

To end our country’s obesity epidemic, we’re asking you to please help redefine healthy eating,” and this is the title of the enclosed mini documentary by Laura Dion-Jones and The Elgin Youth Leadership Academy’s Nutrition Group for their Global Youth Service Learning Project of 2011.

This past year I’ve had the pleasure and honor of being an adult mentor twice a month for an incredible group of at risk Elgin kids grades 7 through 12 for the Elgin Youth Leadership Academy.

My subject was Nutrition and eight YLA kids signed up for my group – 5 boys and 3 girls.

I was puzzled when I first met my group of kids because not one of them was overweight. When I asked each one why they had chosen my topic of nutrition, each said in their own way that they wanted to learn the right way to eat now because most didn’t want to end up like their parents or relatives - overweight and sick with diabetes and other diseases.

Throughout the semester, I guided my cluster of kids as they researched our topic, fleshed it out and then helped put the presentation together that is now the enclosed mini-documentary, “Dear Mrs. Obama: To end our country’s obesity epidemic, please redefine healthy eating.”

The goal of the Nutrition Service Learning project is to redefine healthy eating by educating people about healthier diet options. The four main diet options we chose to research include: the low carbohydrate diet, the low fat diet, the Mediterranean diet, and calorie counting.

We are all well aware that our country has an escalating obesity epidemic and our goal is to combat that obesity epidemic by building healthier communities through improving the healthy eating and fitness of individuals.

Since you were the Honorary Chair for Global Youth Service Day, which was April 15-17, 2011, and since you tirelessly encourage our youth to find their voice, take action, and solve problems, we dedicate this short film to you in hope that you will draw attention to the dilemma that there really is no one diet that’s right for everyone. And, also, one of the biggest reasons we have an obesity epidemic is because of an overabundance of white starch and sugar in obese kids and adults diets. I am living proof. (See enclosed book, No More Fat Kids written by pediatric endocrinologist, Dr. James Bailes.)

We also have a website dedicated to our documentary: www.dearmrsobama.com.

The Elgin Youth Leadership Academy, operating out of Elgin Community College, is a unique program providing a constructive, mentoring environment for students from low-income backgrounds who may be vulnerable to gangs, drugs, and other serious problems.

Through intensive leadership development, YLA cadets earn full tuition scholarships to attend Elgin Community College and Judson University, also in Elgin.

On Wednesday, May 11, 2011, my YLA kids and I presented our documentary to the Elgin City Council at the 7 PM CST meeting at Elgin’s City Hall. Footage of their original presentation is included in this documentary.
I am extremely proud of my group of YLA kids and the work they have done on this project. I hope we accomplish our goal of creating awareness about our country’s obesity epidemic by giving people healthier choices they may not have thought of before.

Most sincerely,

Laura Dion-Jones

Certified Wellness Coach, Pro-Health Activist, Radio Talk Show Host, fitness motivator, lifestyle and fashion consultant and professional speaker and writer. Since Elgin was voted the fattest city in Illinois, Laura has been working there helping to motivate the residents to become the fittest city in the state. So far, she’s managed to help motivate 166 Elgin area residents to lose 1685 pounds in 18 months and is still working on motivating even more adults and children to Commit To Get Fit.