May 27, 2010; Source: | While First Lady Michele Obama might be getting the lion’s share of attention for her very public crusade against childhood obesity, another famous wife is also devoting her time, energy and philanthropic support to encourage children to lead healthier lives. Susan Dell, wife of Dell Computer founder Michael Dell, recently authored the book Be Well that, according to, tells the stories of 15 low-income mothers who “improved their families’ health through fitness and diet improvements.”

Some 600,000 copies have been given away in inner cities, and the book is also available for download at Dell is concerned about the large numbers of children who are overweight or obese. “We’re an unhealthy country. People aren’t taking responsibility for their own good health habits,” she says. “Getting Type 2 diabetes will knock 19 years off your life.”

In addition to her personal campaigning on behalf of improving children’s health, the Dell Foundation made grants totaling $650 million to groups like the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Dell also told Forbes that children’s issues will remain a focus of the family’s foundation. She also expects that her children, still in their teens, will eventually help their parents decide how to manage their philanthropy.—Bruce Trachtenberg