A short while back, we heard about First Lady Michelle Obama and her attempt to fight childhood obesity.
“In the end, as First Lady, this isn’t just a policy issue for me. This is a passion.
This is my mission. I am determined to work with folks across this country to change the way a generation of kids thinks about food and nutrition.”
- First Lady Michelle Obama
The Let’s Move! campaign, started by First Lady Michelle Obama, has an ambitious national goal of solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight. Let’s Move! will combat the epidemic of childhood obesity through a comprehensive approach that will engage every sector impacting the health of children and will provide schools, families and communities simple tools to help kids be more active, eat better, and get healthy.
Mrs. Obama began a national conversation about the health of America’s children when she broke ground on the White House Kitchen Garden with students from a local elementary school in Washington, DC. Through the garden, she began a discussion with kids about nutrition and the role food plays in living a healthy life. That discussion grew into the Let’s Move! campaign.
At the launch of the campaign, President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum creating the first ever Task Force on Childhood Obesity to conduct a review of every single program and policy relating to child nutrition and physical activity and develop a national action plan to maximize federal resources and set concrete benchmarks toward the First Lady’s national goal. The Task Force’s recommendation focus on the four pillars of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign:
empowering parents and caregivers
providing healthy food in schools
improving access to healthy, affordable foods
increasing physical activity.
This problem can’t be solved just by passing laws in Washington. It’s going to take all of us—governors, mayors, doctors, nurses, businesses, non-profits, educators, parents—to tackle the challenge once and for all, so Let’s Move to end the epidemic of childhood obesity together.
According to the CDC, Key Strategies to Prevent Obesity
The percentage of children who are obese1 has more than doubled, and among adolescents the rates have more than tripled since 1980. Obesity is a risk factor for health conditions such as diabetes and is associated with problems such as poor self-esteem. The good news is that schools can help students and staff adopt healthy eating and physical activity behaviors that are the keys to preventing obesity.
Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008. The prevalence of obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5.0% to 18.1%.1,2
Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.
Obese youth are more likely than youth of normal weight to become overweight or obese adults, and therefore more at risk for associated adult health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.
Find out more about Let’s Move