Let’s Move! First Lady’s program aimed at restoring our children’s health

| March 11, 2014
Chasiti Falls

Chasiti Falls

By Chasiti Falls

Let’s Move! is a campaign started by First Lady Michelle Obama to end Childhood Obesity in the United States. The initiative has the established goal of “solving the challenge of Childhood Obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight.

Last week was the four-year anniversary for Let’s Move! On Feb. 27, the First Lady proudly announced the first change to the “Nutritional Facts” label since it’s in debut in 1990. The new label emphasizes calories and added sugars thus making them easier to read.

Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks announcing proposed revisions to the Nutrition Facts label during a “Let’s Move!” event in the White House, Feb. 27. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Coincidentally, President Obama announced the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative. A program for African American males to receive {finally} empowerment.

The campaign was introduced on Fe. 9, 2010 by the First Lady. She announced the campaign would encourage healthier food choices in schools, better food labeling and more physical activity for children. Ironically, on that same date, President Barack Obama signed a presidential memorandum creating the Task Force on Childhood Obesity to review current programs and develop a national action plan.

What is Childhood Obesity?

The definition of obesity has not changed, however the American concept of obesity has. By definition a person is overweight with a BMI (body mass index) of 85 percent, while obese is when the BMI is 95 percent or higher. Body mass index (or BMI) is a measurement of weight in relation to height that can help to determine weight status.

Let’s Move! strives to combat the epidemic of Childhood Obesity and encourage healthy lifestyle practices through “a comprehensive, collaborative, and community-oriented initiative that addresses all of the various factors that lead to Childhood Obesity.

This all sounds good right?  Aren’t theses reasonable principles and morals that you would appreciate your child being exposed to? However, it would be too much like right if this platform was lacking an antagonist.

“Everybody here knows that kids who eat well and stay active tend to have better grades, they have better attendance. They have fewer disciplinary problems at school,” First Lady Obama said at the celebratory event at Gwen Cherry Park in Miami last week.

Is this a trick or another political distraction? Who knows…We all remember the D.A.R.E motto and program that Nancy Reagan started after crack cocaine hit the ‘hood in the ‘80s along with ‘Free Cheese’ at church.

We gotta take the good with the bad.

And as a medical professional serving the forgotten civilian, I would have to say our community does have a void that the Obamas are filling with meaningful and overall progressive changes.

The childhood obesity rate tripled from 1980-1999 creating an epidemic and a generation of children who may have shorter life spans than their parents.

A new CDC report that was released during the anniversary states that, Childhood Obesity has declined for younger children substantially.

This is vital information because children between ages three and five are five times more likely to be overweight than adults. Unfortunately, one in three children of all ages is considered overweight.

The study displayed obesity in children from six to 11 years old decreased slightly, from 18.8 to 17.7 percent. And overall, the rate in children up to 19 years old actually rose very slightly. During the same time, obesity in adults decreased almost three percentage points.

Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign is focused on teaching kids the importance of physical activity and proper nutrition.

The average American does not complete any form of routine exercise.

On the other hand due to First Lady’s Let’s Move!  initiative today healthy habits are becoming the new norm for our children.

The program encourages one to two hours of physical activity, the eating of healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables as snacks, reducing screen time, no fried foods, and only non-sugar sweetened beverages like water and low fat milk, and support for mothers who continue to breastfeed.

Please make sure your kids get at least 60 minutes of active play every day. The key word is active.

Why couldn’t society realize we were getting bigger as the norm when they started asking people to buy two plane tickets?

I am hopeful that if the Obamas can put some positive imagery into the young minds of our youth there might be hope for US yet.

So Let’s Move! with the First Lady to be healthier as a society.


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Category: Features, Health, National

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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