Michelle Obama has launched the Let's Move campaign to deal with the national health crisis, childhood obesity. Her organic garden at the White House was a first step. Getting urban kids who are typically raised on fried food, tasty stuff, to plant, grow, harvest, clean and cook these freshly grown fruits and vegetables. She is enlisting the help of the nation's governors, pediatricians, children's TV networks and websites, sports figures and teams. Public service announcements will be aired with the idea that most parents will "move heaven and earth" in order to make sure their kid's have the opportunity to be the best they can be - and certainly when it comes to health and weight, kids in the US need change.
Here's a list of ideas and changes being considered or implemented:
The American Academy of Pediatrics will encourage its 60,000 members to routinely check kid's BMI and waist sizes, and then write prescriptions of lifestyle change. Typically kid-friendly conversation relating to lifestyle change is not part of a rushed examination.
$400 million in tax credits and other incentives will go to grocery stores and supermarkets encouraging them to move into "food desert communities" and offer healthier fare.
$25 million will go to schools to help renovate kitchens and switch out fryers and other less healthy cooking appliances and techniques for healthier ones.
$10 billion over 10 years will go to the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act, to provide among other things, free and reduced - priced school meals that are healthy, to more kids nationwide.
Schools will be encouraged to grow school and community gardens - providing healthy produce
Efforts will continue to have vending machines offer water, 100% juice and healthy snack products.
There will be a push for kids to get 60 minutes of accumulated physical activity daily.
From a personal perspective, Mrs. Obama knows she is incredibly lucky to have a chef who can assist in making healthy tasty meals from produce grown in the garden. She also acknowledges that there's no need for 100% perfection when it comes to lifestyle change. Her kids have burgers and watch TV. Before she came to the White House, she made changes slowly and said for the most part, the kids embraced the shift. They would grumble a bit sometimes as dessert frequency was reduced, juice switched out for water, but for the most part it would pass quickly. Nutritionists agree that diet and exercise changes should be made gradually, over time. It's not about never having desserts or treats but rather positioning them over the course of seven days, less frequently as "special moments."
Published On: February 23, 2010