February 9, 2010

Michelle Obama launches fight against childhood obesity

Posted: 02:08 PM ET

First Lady Michelle Obama is Larry's guest tonight at 9ET/6PT. Don't miss it!

Washington (CNN) - Michelle Obama is telling America that it's time to get moving.

In a news conference at noon Tuesday at the White House, the first lady introduced a national effort to combat childhood obesity.

"We're determined to take on one of the most serious threats - and that's the epidemic of childhood obesity today," she said.

Called The Let's Move campaign, the program focuses on what families, communities and the public and private sectors can do to help fight childhood obesity, which she and health experts have termed an epidemic in the United States. The campaign aims to take steps to reduce childhood obesity within a generation.

Mayors, doctors, members of the Cabinet, and leaders in sports, entertainment and business joined the first lady.

Former NFL player Tiki Barber introduced several speakers including a pediatrician, an urban farmer, and mayors from Mississippi and Massachusetts.

President Obama signed a memorandum earlier Tuesday morning establishing a federal task force to tackle childhood obesity, calling it "one of the most urgent health issues that we face in this country."

"We think that this has enormous promise in improving the health of our children, in giving support to parents to make the kinds of healthy choices that oftentimes are very difficult."


Filed under: Larry King Live • Michelle Obama

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Ted   February 9th, 2010 2:45 pm ET

With all respect to Ms. Obama I must mention that no political program will do any good until the parents see that their children are ugly because they are obese!! As long as the parents are just as fat the children have the wrong example right in their home.

Our whole nation is fat!! Look at the policemen, most would look better and be healthier with 30-100 pounds less. How can they do their job properly when they cannot climb the stairs or run 500 yards? The same goes for our military with exception to the few elite units.

Theresa   February 9th, 2010 4:37 pm ET

If parents would spend time other than in their cars chauffeuring them from 1 extracirricular activity while munching on fast food it might be an improvement. Quit texting,blogging,playing a video game,watching tv for 1/2 hr. /day & go for a walk -it might be a start.

A. Smith, Oregon   February 9th, 2010 4:53 pm ET

** CNN and LKL Staffers, it appears that the self-titled Dr. Gary has added a zillion exclamation marks in his/her comment which has messed up the format on the comment page, please adjust or delete that comment in the blog on National Security and Obesity, thank-you.

Tony   February 9th, 2010 6:35 pm ET

When I was a K-6 student in the '60's there were 2 or 3 obese kids at my school. Jr. and Sr Hi the same. Today my youngest is 14. I was shocked at the many obese kids, especially K-6 kids. They seem to start sliming down in Jr Hi. These days I'm often at the High School and I don't see a over abundance of jumbo size students there.

A few years ago our family suffered unimaginable tragedy, as adults "fall into the bottle" to ease pain, my son "fell into a bag of chips" and fries and chicharones, etc. Consequently he put on the pounds. Thankfully he's lost them.

Parents of young children must/can control what/how much their kids eat, but everything changes once those kids are old enough to bike to the circle k. Nutrition education is important. I vividly recall my older children bringing home tons of anti drug, anti cigarette info, as well as being taught to avoid those things. Can't say it worked as I've met tons of 30 somethings who abuse drugs/smoke.

Ms. Obama, I say this to you: Keep it real! Todays kids buy into propaganda no more than you or I did. Show them respect, never condescend, and always tell them the truth! Best of luck, I got yer back on this one!

A. Smith, Oregon   February 9th, 2010 6:40 pm ET

If Michelle Obama is really concerned about Obesity in America's grade school children over health issues, why is the Administration allowing a tidal wave of HEROIN to flood America's Grade Schools, addicting thousands of grade school children to Heroin?

Why is the Administration allowing the CIA to keep Allied and American troops and the Airforce from destroying every Opium poppy field in Afghanistan they can? How is getting FAT or obese more of a national security problem than a TIDAL WAVE OF HEROIN flooding America's Grade Schools?

ckelly   February 9th, 2010 7:20 pm ET

Obesity is a complex issue-or it wouldn't be such a national-global problem Even the chinese and japanese kids are getting fat here in Canada on the variety of food and junk available to eat.

Fat people are not ugly-obesity is a health problem and in most cases has mental health problems attached to it-Namely, the cruelty and entitlement to be cruel that society has towards fat kids. Eating too much is a way of self soothing-in this world today many children are emotionally neglected and physically neglected. Parents are often single and can be working two food is cheap and fast in a busy world. The reason people were not fat in the 50's and 60's-?

There was little processed food; people did not eat in fast food restaurants; mom's stayed home and cooked dinner and made lunches; watching television was limited and was a family event.

People had one car and people walked to work and rode their bikes-to work. There were no "Enhanced" fruits and vegetables, people ate what was in season and a roast was expected to last two or three days. Milk and cheese were not loaded with antibiotics. Sauces were a rarity and mom made most home made treats. Mom was in control of her kitchen and you asked permission for things. When you wanted more kool-aid-you were told to drink water.

Kids played outside and parents had time to play with them.

Our world today is too processed; reconstituted; high tech; overly modified and the family is under supported. Fat children are not supported by the village that is supposed to raise them.

Dodie   February 9th, 2010 7:48 pm ET

First Lady, Michelle Obama

Instead of worrying about Obesity, it would be nice to have medical insurance for all those that are without. Many baby boomers who have worked their entire lives and now unemployed, experiencing increased medical needs now have no affordable health insurance.

Michelle Obama, if you want to be of service to the American Public, help with the passage of the Health Care Reform for those who are without!

Thank You


Dr Lacagnina   February 9th, 2010 7:54 pm ET

Its great that the First Lady is addressing the epidemic of obesity but we should not just pay lipservice to this public disaster. Our government continues to allow the food industry to add dangerous pesticides, hormones and antibiotics to our food supply; continues to allow high fructose corn syrup to get into most of the food supply chain; continues to allow states and local govenments to take money out of the school budgets and do away with physicial education; continues to allow the production of cigarettes, etc.
So lets get real! If we want to really improve the health of this nation lets go where the gold is! Doing away with cigarettes alone would save millions of lives and billions of dollars. Its time for this nation to get tough on health and health care. we're killing our ouw people! How shameful...

Therese   February 9th, 2010 8:55 pm ET

I am thrilled about Mrs. Obama's quest. Long overdo. However I do question the "task force". Congress? Senators? Politicians? Are they really the experts in this? Not at all. We have a great successful program and have access to physical education leaders, chefs and nutritionists. That is who they need to lead this. Tons of facts and commercials wont change America. We need a program hands on like ours to work WITH the families, educating them in a fun way, THAT sticks.

angela   February 9th, 2010 10:12 pm ET

Thats a huge endeaver to undertake, good luck Michelle.

angela   February 9th, 2010 10:14 pm ET

Maybe we should bring back Home-Economics, we used to learn cooking and sewing in school. It is very cheap to eat healthy, eggs, peanut butter, wheat bread, potatoes, apples, yogurt etc. No packaged foods.

angela   February 9th, 2010 10:19 pm ET

Sigh.............Sarah Palin is a knat. She is of no matter, she should not even be brought up, why would you EVEN ask the First Lady about SP? She is of no matter!!!!

Dodie   February 9th, 2010 10:27 pm ET

@ Angela

Sarah Palin is following you everywhere through everyone ....... lol

Kelly   February 9th, 2010 10:27 pm ET

I agree with the fact that our country has obesity problems, children and adults. I think that part of the problem is the fact that eating healthy is much more expensive than eating non-healthy foods. As a mom on a food shopping budget in this economy, It is much cheaper to buy "junk' or processed foods. I want to feed my family good, healthy meals and get plenty of exercise. I think our government should make the healthy food more reasonably priced ( affordable) and the not so healthy food more expensive.

Leona Henderson   February 9th, 2010 10:37 pm ET

Well, bought SP up and I've wanted to comment on her and the Tea Party so will take this oportunity. Me thinks that the Republicans probably instigated the tea party to create some more hoax againts our President. I listened to their C-span the other d ay and for the most part the gentlemen that spoke sounded pretty level headed, not being vendictive, for the most part, but SP didn't show me much. She is phisically quite attractive but Me thinks she has an ugly mind. IMHO
As fat as our First Lady, she seems like a very intelligent lady and am enjoying her presentation.

Leona Henderson   February 9th, 2010 10:39 pm ET

Well, bought SP up and I've wanted to comment on her and the Tea Party so will take this oportunity. Me thinks that the Republicans probably instigated the tea party to create some more hoax againts our President. I listened to their C-span the other d ay and for the most part the gentlemen that spoke sounded pretty level headed, not being vendictive, for the most part, but SP didn't show me much. She is phisically quite attractive but Me thinks she has an ugly mind. IMHO
As far as our First Lady, she seems like a very intelligent lady and am enjoying her presentation.

James31   February 9th, 2010 10:43 pm ET

I agree with those who have said tackling obesity in children has to start at home. It would be great if nutritious meals would be a requirement at all schools. But if a nutritious lunch is served at school and children then go home to fast food dinners/breakfasts or meals out of a box, most children will prefer this diet to which they are accustomed. So changes have to be made at home and this will be challenging.

We need to worry about obesity while we continue to focus on healthcare reform; they go hand in hand. In addition to emotional problems, obesity leads to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary problems, on and on. These chronic diseases are the primary reason our healthcare costs continue to increase. If we are fortunate enough to have health insurance, it doesn't give us a free pass. We all need to take personal responsibility to the extent that we can for our health.

I like the idea of classes in Home Economics. Instead of just telling/lecturing to young children about their diet, give them a chance to prepare healthy foods; something they can take credit for. It is similar to the idea of the vegetable garden; very hands on type of education. They could possibly influence their families.

angela   February 9th, 2010 10:45 pm ET

Oh Dodie, say it aint so

James31   February 9th, 2010 10:49 pm ET

I noticed the new hair do as well; I thought maybe it's just a different color.

Dodie   February 9th, 2010 10:50 pm ET

@ Poor Angela... you know Murphy's law... what you do not want to happen.... ultimately will! lol

angela   February 9th, 2010 10:50 pm ET

Schools would have better behaved kids if they made them go out and run it off. Remove the vending machines completely, thats awful and yes get the toys out of the picture. Too much crap overlaps in this world.

Kyle   February 9th, 2010 10:52 pm ET

This is so on point. Kids are different these days. They're sitting in front of XBox, PS3s, WII's, Nintendo DS's. They no longer play outside as we did when we were children. Children have to be driven everywhere (to parks, recreation centers, libraries, ) I grew up in northern VA and we had resources right in our community. Our parents had to force us indoors, now we have to force our kids to play outdoors. Our kids sometimes act like it's a form of punishment when they're told to go outside to play. It's crazy. E. Kyle, Atlanta, GA

Cindy   February 9th, 2010 10:55 pm ET

Lack of recess is due to NO Child Left behind....instruction time is needed.

Parents are to blame for obesity, not the schools....It all starts at home.

I am a teacher...

Alisa   February 9th, 2010 10:56 pm ET

In regards to school lunches, it needs to be noted that many schools that participate in the school lunch program receive government commodities to supplement the cost of lunches. In addition, the reimbursement rate from the Federal Government is not enough money to pay for FRESH fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Therea re companies out there (Revolution Foods for one) that could provide healthy lunches, that are also environmentaly friendly, but the cost is too much. Most families that do not receive Free lunch could not afford to pay for the food because the cost is too high. If we made changes to the National School Lunch Program so we can afford the fresh, healthy food that taste good – it can be done.

Cindy   February 9th, 2010 10:57 pm ET

Plus you can't let your kids play outside anymore because of perverts trying to steal them.....That is also a problem with kids lack of exercise.

angela   February 9th, 2010 10:58 pm ET

Cant ZONING laws require a super market in all areas of a community. Zoning needs to get into the picture.

Cindy   February 9th, 2010 10:58 pm ET

Cosby has all the answers doesn't he....

Dodie   February 9th, 2010 11:01 pm ET

Angela... you made some good suggestions.

I have noticed the Chinese in China are now beginning to battle a weight problem due to computers, internet, games, TV and all the aforementioned you stated!

James31   February 9th, 2010 11:01 pm ET

I think Bill Cosby really wants to see young people do better for themselves, particularly African Americans.

karen   February 9th, 2010 11:02 pm ET

my youngest daughter goes to a charter school, the food she is offered is gross.they dont care about taste or presentation. i hate that my daughter eats out of vending machines at school cause the food is so nasty. my daughter is 12, weights 85 pounds, is very athletic, but she eats no vegetables, and little fruits, except juices. i dont feed her fast food or junk food at home. why is she eating badly but is not obeses? maybe cause food is not the only factor?

James31   February 9th, 2010 11:02 pm ET

You make good points. A lot of high schools have gymnasiums where students could get exercise. Do elementary schools have them?

Trish   February 9th, 2010 11:03 pm ET

@Dodie–how is michelle Obama going to do anything for health care when her husband is the Pres.was stomped on before the game began. I do not understand why Americans are so afraid of anything that sounds like universal health care .It definitely isn't perfect but I know of noone thathas lost their house because of it or been denied health coverage.

Titus   February 9th, 2010 11:14 pm ET

I'm great full that Mrs. Obama has decided to launch this program it's over due. But take it from one who's struggled with weight control issues all his life, simply stressing healthy eating won't be enough because this issue In my opinion is a psychological one. Control your mind and your body will follow.

Austin Woods (Bermuda)   February 9th, 2010 11:16 pm ET

Dear Larry,
I watched your interview with Mrs. Obama, I congratulate you on having this bright, articulate and interesting first lady on your show, I am confident she will restore confidence to the America public. .
Her suggestions on Health care were interesting and simple on tips to help our children. I wonder if Sarah Palin watched your show and garnered a lesson on diplomacy.

Dodie   February 9th, 2010 11:21 pm ET

@ Trish

As an American, I do not understand the "fear" around universal health care. I have seen it work well in many countries. You would think the well being of our people would come first.

Maybe it would be better to ask those who are here and against universal health care. I work and have good health care. However, I worry about the millions of Americans who are less fortunate.

Bridget Swinney MS, RD   February 10th, 2010 12:03 am ET

Kudos to Michelle Obama for bringing childhood obesity to the forefront. As was brought up during the press conference and during LKL, there are many simple things parents can do. In my work with parents of overweight kids, I sometimes feel like a broken record–encouraging more fruits and vegetables, encouraging daily outdoor play. However, the problem is not so simple as it seems because food is a big part of culture and culture is very difficult to change.

The real root of the rise in childhood obesity is the epidemic of adult obesity. For us to solve the childhood obesity problem, we have to change the health habits of adults–parents, grandparents and future parents. Kids learn by example–they need to observe their parents being active, pushing away from the table, snacking on an apple, for it to seem the norm. If we all look at our own habits, and make simple improvements, this will go a long way in helping a child we know perhaps make a healthier choice when it comes to eating and activity.

MIke Dale   February 10th, 2010 12:30 am ET

Excuse me, Ms. Obama can't even be true to herself ( black women are not born with straight hair ) to do this to your hair, you have to put a lye compound on the hair shaft which melts it, you take it off before the hair has melted completely and the scalp is burned.

This is done, because Black people hate to be indentified as black, it is a huge lie, and deception to one's self, so anything this women says is suspect.

rosegarden   February 10th, 2010 12:42 am ET

I followed a school bus on the way to work in our neighborhood town before heading to highway every morning. The bus stops at every block to pick up just one kid, a distance between each block is just across a small, non busy traffic side road for about less than a minutes, and the bus has to stop for one kid for each block. Finally it turn into the side street after picking up for about 8 kids, the school in fact is just around the corner. Why don't the school or parents encourage the kids to take a 15 minutes walk to school each morning and a walk back home? It's a good 30 minutes exercise every day, and it's free!

Kim   February 10th, 2010 1:38 am ET

@MIke Dale

You must be one of the teabaggers who never have anything constructive to say but spewing ignorance and hate. Do you really need to pick on the First Lady when we have caucasian women spending billion dollars on cosmetic surgeries(fake boobs and noses) and tanning salon in order to look dark? Does that mean they don't want to be white?

By the way, black women are not the only one who relax their hair. White, Asian, Hispanic and Black women all do it.

A. Smith, Oregon   February 10th, 2010 1:44 am ET

Thanks entirely to the Bush-Cheney and Republican lawmakers, there are very, very few Food and Drug safety inspectors. If FDA cannot vouch for cat's and dogs safely eating the food that flows thru America's harbors and ports, how safe is the food for our children?

Not that long ago, a unauthorized version of Genetically Bio-engineered Corn was grown and processed, shipped, sold and used. When it was discovered, the resulting bone-yard filled with all of the equipment and machinery that was contaminated beyond any possible use was very impressive.

Before getting excited about Organic Carrots making it to a public school near you, let's have adequate safety inspectors across the nation FIRST to make sure that childs salad isn't contaminated with e-coli.

john Kidd   February 10th, 2010 1:56 am ET

We were homeschooling our daughter. We senter to a very prestegious charter school on Pensacola Beach. The new teacher kept her out of recess to finish school work. The only reason we sent her to public school was to socialize and get some PE. This was defeated. By the way, the this new teacher was pregnant and unmarried. She replaced a 20 year veteran. Public education is broken. keep your kids home and raise them yourself. as it should be.

Janet McNerny   February 10th, 2010 2:14 am ET

There are parents who are trying to do the right thing about having healthy kids. My son is a single father of and 11 yr. old boy and a 8 yr. old daughter. Their day is first of all schedled so they know what is expected of them each hour of the day. He fixd extremely healthy meals using crock pots and the grill quite a bit. The kids also have to pack their own lunches which must include a protein, a fruit, a vegitable and a calcium. They also have to read a half hour a day after their homework and chores are finished. He doesn't keep junk food in the house. A snack may be a piece of fruit, a vegetable or maybe a cheese stick.

Dodie   February 10th, 2010 2:28 am ET

@ Kim

Great comment and statement!

More Caucasian women have face lifts than any other race. Asian women are famous for breast implants. Many different races of women have their hair chemically straightened. Then you have the tummy tuckers, the butt removers, flab tighteners, Botox, laser and the list just goes on and on and on........

Jan from PA   February 10th, 2010 2:44 am ET

When it comes to the poor who are obese many of them get food stamps. They buy junk with them. I know I used to ring them up. Food stamps is supposed to be under the department of agriculture to fund them. I suggest that only the basic food be allowed, produce, dairy, meat, fish, rice, beans, pasta, no junk. You can lower the expense of this program while getting people to eat healthier.

Judith   February 10th, 2010 3:34 am ET

So many families are on the go with their kids taking them to sports.

By the time their finish they are either eating out or getting fast food to take home.Times are later when kids eat.It's no more between
4:30 and 5:30.Gosh by the time they eat it's between 8-9 pm and soon into bed.Example of a fast food in the 60s–happy meals at McDonalds today is what was served in the 60s.That's how ones ate.
Today the fast foods are larger meals with big sodas.
Years ago we gave kids milk,juice or water and kook aid.Today kids drink so much soda.

Parents do worry about their kids walking home because of perverts
even in good neighborhoods.

Schools should have more time for the kids to spend at recess.
Kids have so much energy and need it to make their minds work better in schools.Even in the work place in Japan they stop and take breaks moving around then getting back to work in order to work better with their minds.

Judith   February 10th, 2010 3:48 am ET

Now as far as the GOPs and President Obama.The GOPs will always be the Party of no.President Obama and the Demo Party can go along with everything then when the vote is coming they vote no.
This has been like this for a year.When is the American people going to realize it has nothing to do what Presi Obama is doing but what is in the wallets of the GOPs.
The seniors and ones becoming seniors better wake up and see,listen to what a few of the GOPs want and that is to privatize social security.This is what Bush wanted in 2005.Look at what happen with Wall Street and the Stocks.Ones living just on their checks would have nothing today.

The GOPs are on tv talking about the stimulus how bad it is but yet in their own States they love it and act like they are taking from their own wallets giving it to the people.Every single GOP that has complained about the stimulus loves it in their States.

As far as Sarah Palin talking about Pres Obama.She feeds the red meat to ones that believe this party of No,but she like everyone else uses teleprompters.If Sarah was in high school writing on her palm like she did speaking to the tea marchers she would have been expelled. Sad that she couldn't remember 4 or 5 important issues.
This is because she is told what to say.

Marry   February 10th, 2010 6:33 am ET

First Lady Michele Obama is simply a class act! A wonderful person just like her husband, with real concern for the people of this country! Doing instead of NO,NO,NO….
What a wonderful, uplifting difference she makes compared to the likes of Ms. Palin or the people of the Tea Party…

DenverD   February 10th, 2010 6:55 am ET

Ms Obama is my hero. Thank you kind young lady.

On the other hand, The King (Larry) should banish his hairdresser from the Kingdom...or, maybe he likes that mousy brown mop....where did all the telltale gray of wisdom go?

Tom   February 10th, 2010 7:21 am ET

Hi i'm from Poland i've watching with growing concern this program. And i think this is a mentality problem in most. This problem appears not only in U.S. (mainly but not only). You can observe this also in Europe for ex. UK, Germany, Holland, Austria, Poland. This is global pandemia. People become comfortable in every aspect of live. They can buy almost everything without leaving home. As Larry rightly notice family don't eat dinners together. This, let me say habit was forgotten. And for the other side big food producers must revalue their approach to customer. Witch is very unfair right now, This can be done. But this process is for years, decades even. We have a choice to heal ourselfs pr become people like those in "WALL-E".

Mary G. from Michigan   February 10th, 2010 12:43 pm ET

You are so right . GOP and their BIG pockets will never let any common sense programs go through. ONCE again we will be the only leading country that does not have Universal healthcare. If Universal healthcare passes we can have incentives for MD's that promote better eating habits , more regular excercise, regular checkups, etc. Then we would not have to spend as much on other programs.

WHY don't people get it ? They think we are the only one in a recession. The whole world is feeling the squeeze but those countries still understand the importance of healthcare for THEIR PEOPLE!

James31   February 10th, 2010 3:15 pm ET

What President Bush wanted was for people to be able to take a small portion of their Social Security investment and have the opportunity to invest it. The investment could go into CDs, bonds, as well as stocks. So very secure investments would have been an option.
Two advantages to this and that when you die, any money in this investment would be available to heirs which is not, of course, the situation with SS. Also, the government would not be able to change course with these dollars that we invest ourselves, meaning it could not be reduced or taken away. If one wanted to invest in risky investments, certainly there would be fluctuations over the years; in more conservative investments, there would be steady growth with no risks. Some seem to think people lost everything in the market decline. The average decrease in 401Ks was 40%. 2009 saw a strong rebound so many people have gained back a good portion of their losses. I would be in favor of investing a small percentage of my SS contribution myself so that I could have a little more control. I am not a Republican.

A. Smith, Oregon   February 10th, 2010 7:17 pm ET

First Lady Michelle Obama, more than 4,000 American citizens die EACH YEAR from having no health care, nor health insurance. Shouldn't true Homeland Security focus on the protection and saving the lives of American Citizens?

Giving Organic Carrots is a wonderful idea to our public schools, but more people are dieing each and every year in America than the total number that died in the 9/11 attack due to their lack of health care.

Supplying more machine guns to the Middle East does not in any fashion change 4,000 deaths of American citizens each year from a lack of health care and inadequate health care insurance.

janette tx   February 11th, 2010 1:56 am ET

Obesity in children happens to be a problem in
this country and Michele Obama is the mother
of two and she is also into fitness and healthy
eating.If she wants to champion the fight against
obesity which is a health issue why should she
do otherwise? She doesn't have to consult with
Queen blogger Dodie as to what she should
be working on.

janette tx   February 11th, 2010 2:04 am ET

Mike..speak about what you know.You must be the relative
Sarah doesn't talk about.

Cajazz76:24:8   February 11th, 2010 5:23 pm ET

@Mike Dale

Knowing black women spend more money on their hair than any other sector in our society, it derails my common sense not to appreciate that, how they fashion themselves, in a large way supports our economy. What I smell is not the burning of hair due to overexposure of lye, but the smoldering undertones of that, which caused the largest loss of life in this country . It was our nation lying to itself about its acceptance of involuntary servitude. Over a nearly century and a half later; we choose to continue to police the world while we stand on a single, crippled leg and sway in the winds of hypocrisy, failing to look at the fields of stone marking a sordid past.

Cajazz76:24:8   February 11th, 2010 5:27 pm ET

@ mike dale

Look a little closer to the screen of your 13 inch viewpoint, the First Lady is fashionably wearing a wig/weave...I'm not a hair dresser to be that finite in her personal affairs.

Cajazz76:24:8   February 11th, 2010 5:38 pm ET

First Amendment may be well served to be amended to include the freedom of fashion...First Amendment First.

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