Michelle Obama Unveils Lets Move Campaign to Fight Childhood Obesity

Christine Nyholm's picture

First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled her public initiative against childhood obesity in a televised press conference on February 9, 2010. In her opening statements, Michelle Obama stated that the goal of 'Let's Move' is to help children lead healthy and happy lives.

Childhood obesity in America today is a serious health threat that need to be addressed. Childhood obesity has tripled over the past three decade. One in three children are obese, according to Obama. The weight issue has an impact on every area of kids' lives. Doctors see the emotional and physical impact that results from obesity. Public health experts are seeing increasing incidences of heart disease, diabetes and other obesity related health problems. In addition to the physical toll of obesity, the children may suffer from depression and may be teased and bullied in school.

Obama unveiled the “Lets Move' initiative, to encourage physical activity for children. Obama talked about how children used to have to take part in physical education and gym in school and the healthy meals. She also pointed out that fast food was a treat instead of a daily part of the diet.

Obama is calling initiatives in health and education, including less fast food, less starchy food in school cafeterias and more physical activity. Lets Move will involve public education for households and communities about healthy eating and physical activity.

The mission across the country is to end childhood obesity in one generation. Over the next 90 days, the task force will study initiative for Lets Move. The campaign is not waiting 90 days to get started through. Immediate initiatives announced of February 8, 2010 include:

  • Offer parents tools and information needed to make health nutrition choices. This initiative includes clear and easy to understand food labels.
  • American Association of Pediatrics will take steps to ensure that doctors measure BMI and write that presentable
  • Nationwide public awareness campaign to educate households and communities about healthy living.
  • Lets Move website with tools to help families measure progress and keep on track with the campaign and motivate families.
  • Update Childhood Nutrition Act to improve school meal programs, so that schools offer healthier foods, including foods in school vending machines.
  • Double number of schools in healthier school meals program.
  • Food service workers and administration are coming together to provide healthy meals in schools
  • Eliminate food deserts in America. Food deserts are regions where healthy food options are unavailable, often due to urban sprawl.
  • Children should get 60 minutes of active play every day, so Lets Move will find ways to increase participation in physical fitness.

A new independent foundation has been created to keep the 'Lets Move” campaign going even past the Obama administration The foundation is called the Partnership for Healthier America. This obesity campaign is an ambitious and worthwhile initiative to restore good health and longer lives to the children of America.

See also how household routines can help prevent childhood obesity.

Written by Christine Nyholm

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