By Alicia M. Cohn - 05/29/12 02:13 PM EDT
Obama and the singer have exchanged praise over the past month, each calling the other a “role model” for her children in comments released through social media. Michelle Obama told People magazine in an interview published last week that she would choose to be Beyonce if she could be anyone else.
“Anybody who's got talent, I'm all for,” she explained to ABC. “But Beyonce has just been a tremendous supporter of Let's Move. Without asking, she reformulated ‘Move your body’ to do a flash mob of kids across the country.”
Beyonce mentioned exercise at her concert on Saturday, telling the crowd she worked hard to lose baby weight after her first child was born in January.
"They had me on the treadmill, eating lettuce,” she said, according to reports.
The first lady is promoting her first book, American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America, with a media tour this week. The book, released Tuesday, includes a large number of garden-oriented photos and recipes.
Obama told ABC that virtually the first thing she did upon moving into the White House after her husband won the presidency was to look into restrictions on planting on White House grounds.
In the book, Obama tells the story of planting the first garden on White House grounds since Eleanor Roosevelt's Victory Garden during World War II. She writes that she knew very little about gardening when she first moved into the White House but that she was determined her garden would “be the starting point for something bigger.”
There are now 1,100 square feet of vegetables growing on the South Lawn of the White House, and in 2010, Michelle Obama launched the Let’s Move anti-obesity initiative.
“It is definitely a passion: getting our kids in this country eating healthy, helping families make good choices about how they eat and stay active, and this book is a way to talk about our journey but also talk about the challenges we face as a nation around health and what we can do to move forward on some of these issues,” Obama told ABC.
She also addressed criticism of the Let’s Move campaign, defending the high-profile initiative as less about “government telling people what to do” than about “giving people the right tools.”
Through the campaign, the first lady helps to advocate structural change in cities — in order to give kids safer places to play — healthier options offered by school cafeterias and cheaper access to fresh food like fruits and vegetables, especially at urban stores.
All proceeds from the book go to the National Park Foundation.