Overweight children, especially those who are obese, are too often candidates for chronic health problems when they’re older.
That means today’s problem of obesity among children is not good news for their health in years to come.
First Lady Michelle Obama is championing the health of the nation’s children. She brought the national epidemic of childhood obesity into the news lately when she presented her plan on national television. She wants to eliminate childhood obesity in one generation.
Mrs. Obama is spearheading a program called “Let’s Move” which includes four key initiatives.
- Teach parents about good nutrition and exercise for a healthier lifestyle
- Improve school food service to provide healthy options
- Making healthy foods more affordable for families
- Increase the focus of physical education
The Obamas have created a federal task force to coordinate efforts between the private sector, government agencies, not for profit centers and other organizations who can together focus on solutions. Mrs. Obama admits the government cannot solve this problem on its own and calls on everyone to become involved in the effort so that every child will reach adulthood in this generation with a healthy weight.
Childhood Nutrition is Important
As a part of the solution, the President has proposed a $10 billion increase in the budget over the next 10 years for the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act. This legislation is currently scheduled for revision by the Congress as it is once every five years.
The Child Nutrition Act determines policy for the federal school lunch program as well as determining which foods will be served to the nation’s children. The goal will be to serve healthier, fresher foods that are low in fat and overall calories.
70% of the nation’s school menus are high in fat and cholesterol, according to a recent School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study. Introduced by Rep. Jared Polis, the Healthy School Meals Act of 2010 will help school food service directors serve more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat vegetarian meals for the benefit of all children.
The American Dietetic Association, American Medical Association and American Public Health Association all voice their support in the effort to improve school food service for our children to live healthier.
Let us help our children live strong, eat healthfully, and move!