Let’s Move! – a national campaign to fight childhood obesity – celebrated its second anniversary this month. The campaign launched in February of 2010 with the goal to reduce the childhood obesity rate to just five percent by 2030.
The initial concern lies with estimates suggesting 17 percent of American teens and children are overweight and obese – triple the rate of a generation ago, according to the CDC.
Led by U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, Let’s Move! aggressively rolled out several programs, with many recommendations still underway, to address the ongoing, national obesity crisis faced by many of the cities highlighted in the ACSM American Fitness Index™ (AFI) data report. The average obesity rate among the metro areas included in the report is 25.9 percent (with a range from 18.1 percent to 34.3 percent).
“The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake,” said Mrs. Obama at the Let’s Move! launch.Times have changed and thus, so have our youths’ lifestyles. Natural progression in transportation, increased snacking, education/extracurricular budget cuts, exploding portion sizes, and
entertainment media all play a role in the shocking reality of youth obesity.
However, recent reports show the campaign is gaining traction as obesity rates have flattened among youth, and many students and parents are more aware of recommended dietary and fitness guidelines.
The campaign involves several initiatives to educate America’s youth and their parents on healthy lifestyle choices. Some of these initiatives include:
- MyPlate: The most recent “upgrade” to the food pyramid which places emphasis on portion size by providing a visual reminder for preparing and eating meals.
- Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act: Law signed by President Obama holding schools to a higher and healthier standard for school lunches.
- The Partnership for a Healthier America: Partnership to aid in encouraging, tracking and communicating commitments to healthier lifestyles with a variety of companion organizations.
It’s also important to note, as much of the data in the AFI report confirms, there is often a direct correlation between obesity and many other diseases including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and asthma. Many of the campaign’s suggested lifestyle recommendations will play a hand in addressing these issues and many more.
This comprehensive initiative requires the attention and dedication of many parties including parents, elected government officials, schools, health care professionals, faith-based and community-based o
rganizations, and more.
For more information on the campaign, visit Let’s Move!