Nearly one out of every three children in America are obese. From year 2000 on, one third of individuals are expected to suffer from diabetes. A significant amount of people will continue to struggle with other health problems such as asthma, cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure as a result of obesity. This is progressively degrading the health of our nation and poses the risk for a serious future fiscal strain on our health-care system. As is, our nation spends $150 billion per year to treat obesity-related conditions. This number is only expected to continue rising.
Recently, Michelle Obama has set out with intentions to help stop this growing epidemic. In a video clip on LetsMove.gov, a website launched in correspondence to Obama’s initiatives, Michelle Obama reveals that even the Obama family had at once suffered from the pitfalls of fast food. At one point, their pediatrician recommended that they make some changes for the health of their family. And so they did, showing that fast food’s trap of convenience isn’t unbreakable. Michelle Obama states that she “wanted to bring the lessons that she learned to the White House.”
With obesity rates that have tripled over the past 30 years, it is time to take action, and with the help of Michelle Obama, light is finally being shed on this ineluctable issue. A new task force has been created in the federal government with the sole intentions of battling childhood obesity. The four main objectives of the Task Force on Childhood Obesity are as follows:
- Ensuring access to healthy, affordable food
- Increasing physical activity in schools and communities
- Providing healthier food in schools
- Empowering parents with information and tools to make good choices for themselves and their families
The Task Force campaign, under the name of Let’s Move, aims to develop a Federal response that draws from the coordination of states, communities, and non-profit sectors to solve the issue of childhood obesity within the short time period of one single generation. It will call for a collaboration of efforts among government leaders, physicians, scientists, business leaders, educational administrators, community organizations and more.
“The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake,” said First Lady Obama. “This isn’t the kind of problem that can be solved overnight, but with everyone working together, it can be solved. So, let’s move.”
As quoted in a press release issued last month: “Within 90 days, the Task Force will conduct a review of every single program and policy relating to child nutrition and physical activity and develop a national action plan that maximizes federal resources and sets concrete benchmarks toward the First Lady’s national goal. ”
Already, numerous companies such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation have come together to stake a support in this initiative. It is clear that in order to achieve such a large goal, people from all over will need to take part in the initiative.
One aspect of the health of our nation’s children that the Let’s Move initiative will attempt to fix is the quality of the food that gets put into their stomachs during school lunches. This will call for the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act and will thus mandate an addition of $1 billion for the next ten years. There are numerous other proposals such as this that will attempt to move the health of our children in the right direction.
I am more than happy to hear that the Federal government has finally reached out a hand to help tackle this problem. Obesity within America has gotten out of control, and has become an issue that calls for the attention to be dealt with immediately. With hope, this will revolutionize school lunch programs, government subsidies of junk food, and physical education programs within schools. Whether this can truly be done within one generation, that I am not so sure. But better to be optimistic than not, so let’s have faith that Let’s Move will actually move our nation in the right direction.
To learn more details about the goals of Let’s Move, visit www.letsmove.gov.