This initiative is coming at a difficult time in our history when people are struggling to stretch every dime as far as possible, but it is imperative to tackle this now before it gets even worse. Just yesterday a study was released in the New England Journal of Medicine that followed 5,000 people from childhood into adulthood. The study found that those who were obese as children doubled their risk of dying before the age of 55 than those who were of normal weight. Scary.
President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum Tuesday morning establishing a task force on childhood obesity that is chaired by The Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and includes the Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and Education along with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and others who are deemed necessary by the Chair. As you can see, a many departments will be included in this task force. They will oversee the program, ensuring that local and state governments as well as public and nonprofit organizations, schools, and communities play an active role. Other administrations, as far back as Eisenhower, have tried to turn this problem around but failed, so the First Lady and this task force have a big hill to climb before they can declare that childhood obesity is no longer an epidemic (which they plan to do within one generation).
These four objectives were laid out in the memorandum:
- ensure access to health, affordable food
- increase physical activities in schools and communities
- provide healthier food in schools
- provide parents with information and tools to make good choices for themselves and their children
Now, if any of you reading this are associated with the Let's Move campaign, please know that I would LOVE to be a part of it! I have great hopes and confidence that this will make a difference. I'm available to start work tomorrow, so just reach out! I'm ready!
I'll probably be writing about this frequently as the months go by and things start happening. It will be interesting to see how industry and government really work together to make changes.
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