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5 Ways The Let’s Move Campaign Will End Childhood Obesity
Michelle Obama, first lady since January 2009, has made the most of her time in office. Beginning with conversations in the White House Garden, she has launched the Let’s Move campaign, which aims to end childhood obesity in America within a generation. Hardly a modest goal, the achievement of all children in adults of normal weight requires continuous, comprehensive action from all sectors of society. To do this, Let’s Move points to parents, children, elected officials, schools, community leaders and health care providers – all sectors of society – to ensure that everyone is doing their part.
Education about childhood obesity
Before anyone is motivated to act, they must understand that there is a reason for it. The first way Mrs. Obama’s campaign is targeting apathy is simply to educate the public about the desperate place we are. Consider these alarming statistics:
Over the past 30 years, the number of obese children in America has tripled, so that today one in three minors is overweight (too much weight for height) or obese (too much fat for height), and in fact one in three Americans. . It is estimated that Americans today eat almost a third more calories per day more than in 1960, including alarming amounts of fat and sugar. Such a radical change can only harm the body. The risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, asthma and many other diseases are known to increase with obesity.
We can no longer pretend that this is an individual problem. With the obesity epidemic in our children, we all have a responsibility to create a healthier environment. But instead of burdening you with this responsibility, the Let’s Move campaign presents clear, achievable steps to enable a healthy future.
Start eating healthy
After raising awareness of the problem, the Liikkiellel campaign educates the public on the solution. The first step to a healthier lifestyle is figuring out how to eat right. The worrisome trends of recent decades stem from radical differences in how we eat and what we eat. Not only are portion sizes out of control, but people are also often unaware of the quality (or poor quality) of the food they eat. In short, people do not know what is good for them. And if adults are not informed, children will be even less informed. However, more information is available now than ever, and it is the responsibility of parents and guardians to obtain information and pass it on to the next generation.
The Food and Drug Administration, the government agency that regulates the food industry, requires most distributors of prepared foods (cans, boxes, bags) to label their products with nutrition labels that list serving size, calorie content, and a lot of other information. . In 2009, Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg announced some new initiatives at the FDA, including sending warning letters to companies that misrepresent their products and working with the food industry to implement front-of-pack labeling to help consumers make more healthy choices. easily.
Although labels help families become more informed about the food they consume at home, the reality is that most people eat a large portion of their food outside of the home. Whether it’s restaurants, schools, snack shops or vending machines, many foods are not packed with reliable information. But that’s no longer an excuse. The United States Department of Agriculture’s website has clear and comprehensive information about the new Food Pyramid (updated from the old grains-on-the-bottom model adults may be familiar with) that outlines the components of a balanced eating day. Unlike the old version, Food Pyramid 2.0 includes the importance of exercise and redistributes daily portions for each food group. That website and hundreds of others that provide information about quality food make healthy choices accessible to all Americans.
In addition to teaching children and families how to eat right, the Let’s Move campaign aims to bring about tangible change by helping schools show the way. With school budgets tight across the country, more and more junk food has found its way into the public school system and into children’s bodies, usually because it’s cheap, convenient and long-lasting. However, when the long-term costs of obesity are considered (higher health care costs), cutting childhood is no longer a viable option. School administrators and parents need to get involved and change school choices so kids can learn better when they’re in school and live better when they’re not.
In addition to learning what to put in our bodies, Americans need to learn how to use their bodies to keep them in top shape. The USDA claims that children and teens should get 60 minutes of exercise daily, while adults should get at least 30 minutes on a regular basis. Most Americans do not meet these standards, and for some they seem unattainable. However, getting enough exercise for the day is only a matter of priority. The average American child (8-18) spends 7.5 hours DAILY in entertainment media. The Let’s Move campaign means changing it by activating families, schools and communities.
Every family’s schedule and lifestyle is different, so adding activity looks different in each case. One family may choose to walk to any location that is less than a mile from home. for another, it might be a family tradition of a four-square driveway. Opportunities to be active can be fun and build family togetherness. Jump jacks in the morning in your PJs, dance around the kitchen to your favorite tunes, cycle to the park or see who can swing higher on the swings. Kids love to be active, and they love it even more if they get to spend quality time with their parents. But even if you can’t get your child away from the screen, there are also plenty of active options in entertainment media. Nintendo’s Wii Fit or the popular Dance Dance Revolution or even simple YouTube videos like Exercise with Daniel can get kids up and moving without them knowing.
Of course, a large part of children’s day is spent at school, so schools are also responsible for including physical activity in the schedule and educating students about its importance. Prioritizing physical education, scheduling recess, expanding and supporting after-school sports, and even incorporating physical activity into the academic curriculum are all ways schools can help students be their healthiest selves. Every day more research is done showing the benefits of movement for learning – a healthy body becomes a healthy brain.
Communities can encourage citizens to live healthy lives by building the infrastructure to support it. Bike paths, parks, safe routes to and from schools, activity centers and youth programs make exercise comfortable and attractive. Initiatives that make it cheaper to join groups, offer scholarships for sports or educate disadvantaged students about opportunities in the area can all have a positive impact on children’s lives.
We help people to act
Because change can be overwhelming, Let’s Move has outlined “5 Simple Steps to Success” for each group it seeks to educate: parents, children, elected officials, schools, community leaders, health care providers, and even chefs.
For example, the five stages of chefs are as follows:
1) Join the Chefs Move to Schools initiative. This phase encourages chefs to “embrace” the school and work within it to educate students, families and leaders about nutritious options and exciting new foods. The Let’s Move website helps chefs find schools (and school chefs) with an interactive Searchable Map.
2) Take the HealthierUS School Challenge. Once a school is approved, chefs can help schools apply to become a HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSCC) school by meeting various criteria. The USDA: Food and Nutrition Services website outlines the incentives available to qualifying schools.
3) Learn about children’s nutrition programs. To be effective in school adoption, chefs can learn about current child nutrition programs and assess what can be improved.
4) Prepare for the classroom. When joining the school, the chef should ask good questions about the school’s goals and its current production. Where does the food come from? What kind of appliances are there in the kitchen? Does the menu need an overhaul?
5) Look for recipes for success. Recipes for success are innovative ideas that have worked well. Whether you cook them somewhere else or make them yourself, sharing ideas across the country can only help us build healthier schools faster.
Together with people
Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign sounds like an amazing idea. But that’s all it ever will be if Americans don’t take it personally and seriously. To make it a movement and not just a motto, there are clear ways to get involved. In addition to following the action steps on the action step page, each citizen is invited to take the Move Pledge and receive email updates, join a regional Let’s Move Meetup to plan action and strategies locally, and join the Partnership for a Healthier America. focuses on mobilizing leadership across sectors to lead the way to health. Anyone can participate in the discussion on Facebook as well
The Let’s Move campaign is a call to action against childhood obesity, which cannot be ignored. In the words of a promise,
“We believe every child has the right to a healthy childhood. We cannot let this be the first generation in our history to grow up less healthy than their parents. The ingredients…better food + more activity…are clear. . Let’s Move is not just noble , it’s a necessity. It’s not just a slogan, it’s our responsibility.”
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