Cross posted from the White House blog
Today, the Childhood Obesity Task Force is excited to release our action plan to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation. The First Lady will be holding a press conference this morning to talk about the report, and you can tune in and watch it live at 10:30AM EDT at www.WhiteHouse.gov/live. And make sure to take a look at the report HERE! It will serve as a roadmap for the work we need to do together to make sure that our kids grow up healthy and have the opportunity to live active lives.
The report reflects input from 12 federal agencies as well as the 2,500 submissions we got from parents, teachers, doctors, nurses and others. It includes 70 recommendations for public and private sector action, as well as concrete metrics and benchmarks to measure our progress towards our goal. Very broadly, the report makes recommendations in 5 key areas:
- Getting children a healthy start on life, with good prenatal care for their parents; support for breastfeeding; limits on “screen time”; and quality child care settings with nutritious food and ample opportunity for young children to be physically active.
- Empowering parents and caregivers with simpler, more actionable messages about nutritional choices based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans; improved labels on food and menus that provide clear information to help make healthy choices for children; reduced marketing of unhealthy products to children; and improved health care services, including BMI measurement for all children.
- Providing healthy food in schools, through improvements in federally-supported school lunches and breakfasts; upgrading the nutritional quality of other foods sold in schools; and improving nutrition education and the overall school environment.
- Improving access to healthy, affordable food, by eliminating “food deserts” in urban and rural America; lowering the relative prices of healthier foods; developing or reformulating food products to be healthier; and reducing the incidence of hunger, which has been linked to obesity.
- Getting children more physically active, through quality physical education, recess, and other opportunities in and after school; addressing aspects of the “built environment” that make it difficult for children to walk or bike safely in their communities; and improving access to safe parks, playgrounds, and indoor and outdoor recreational facilities.
Many of our ideas can be implemented right away, at little or no cost. With the First Lady’s leadership and working in strong partnership with states, local communities, and the private sector, we look forward to moving without delay to get this plan into action. Let’s Move!
Melody Barnes is Director of the Domestic Policy Council at the White House.