Michelle Obama launches plan to fight childhood obesity within a generation
Posted on May 31, 2010 by Maggie LaBarbera
Michelle Obama released her plan to fight childhood obesity. Her goal is to solve the problem within a generation which is a pretty ambitious goal. This means decreasing childhood obesity rates to 5% by the year 2030!
Her plan entails implementing an interagency plan that details a coordinated strategy with clearly defined goals, benchmarks and measureable outcomes to ensure success. I fully agree that there must be accountability if we are going to truly "stop talking and studying this problem" and move towards "making significant impactful changes to address the problem". Don't get me wrong, we need data and analysis but it seems that is where the government gets stuck. Creating task forces to study problems and we need to shift energies to action and implemented solutions.
Here is a summary of the recommendations:
Getting children a healthy start on life, with good prenatal care for their parents; support for breastfeeding; adherence to limits on “screen time”; and quality child care settings with nutritious food and ample opportunity for young children to be physically active.
Empowering parents and caregivers with simpler, more actionable messages about nutritional choices based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans; improved labels on food and menus that provide clear information to help parents make healthy choices for children; reduced marketing of unhealthy products to children; and improved health care services, including BMI measurement for all children.
Providing healthy food in schools, through improvements in federally-supported school lunches and breakfasts; upgrading the nutritional quality of other foods sold in schools; and improving nutrition education and the overall health of the school environment.
Improving access to healthy, affordable food, by eliminating “food deserts” in urban and rural America; lowering the relative prices of healthier foods; developing or reformulating food products to be healthier; and reducing the incidence of hunger, which has been linked to obesity.
Getting children more physically active, through quality physical education, recess, and other opportunities in and after school; addressing aspects of the “built environment” that make it difficult for children to walk or bike safely in their communities; and improving access to safe parks, playgrounds, and indoor and outdoor recreational facilities.
I applaud her conviction, dedication and tenacity in leading the fight against childhood obesity and helping to bring it to the nation's center spotlight.
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