Friday, March 12, 2010

Is Obama's "Let's Move" Program Enough?

Michelle Obama announced a 10 billion dollar program to help American children to get off their couches and start eating healthier food.  Her "Let's Move" campaign aims to improve nutrition in schools, provide more physical activity for kids, give people more access to healthy foods and to give parents the info they need to make healthy food choices.  But is it enough?  Childhood obesity rates in the U.S. have tripled in the last 30 years.  1 out of 3 kids are officially overweight or obese.  As a result, kids are suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, fatty liver disease, and heart disease.  The Texas Children's Hospital now performs 1 to 2 gastric bypasses a month on obese kids.  The Director of the Obesity Institute at Children's National Medical Center in Washington says that "within 5-10 years you'll see as many children getting weight loss procedures as adults".
The National School Lunch Program serves 31 million children in more than 100,000 schools. The three major suppliers of school lunches have pledged to cut back the amount of fat, sugar and salt in kids' meals OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS.  Why does it take 5 years to do this?
The "Let's Move" Program is a start, but a more aggressive program is needed NOW to help our kids. Food manufacturers should be banned from marketing unhealthy food products to kids and all schools should be mandated NOW to provide healthy meals for our kids.

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