Thursday, February 10, 2011

Get movin' Kiddies!!!

This week marks the 1 year anniversary of the start of the "Let's Move Campaign" which has the goal of eliminating childhood obesity in just one generation. Hopefully everyone has heard about the "childhood obesity epidemic", but you may not have paid attention to the severity of the epidemic. Here are some stats to peak your interest and concern for the state of health of our children:
  • in just 3 decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled
  • 1 out of every 3 American children is overweight or obese (40% for blacks and Hispanics)
  • it is estimated that if we don't solve the obesity problem, 1/3 of children born in 2000 will suffer from type II diabetes at some point in their lifetime
Childhood obesity is such a problem because of all the health risks (and therefore, health costs (ie: your tax $$$)) associated. Childhood obesity greatly increases the risk of a child having low-self esteem (and developing depression), having asthma, allergies, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer, sleep apnea, arthritis, and many, many more problems. Plus, no one wants to be teased on the playground for their weight or intimidated to try out for sports because they are heavy. 

You may have seen First Lady Obama on morning news programs and "Regis & Kelly" discussing this campaign that she heads. The campaign site reads:
"Let’s Move is comprehensive, collaborative, and community-oriented and will include strategies to address the various factors that lead to childhood obesity.  It will foster collaboration among the leaders in government, medicine and science, business, education, athletics, community organizations and more.  And it will take into account how life is really lived in communities across the country – encouraging, supporting and pursuing solutions that are tailored to children and families facing a wide range of challenges and life circumstances."

The campaign focuses on 4 main topics related to childhood obesity prevention:
1. Make healthy choices - food manufacturers will have to change labeling to make nutrition info easier to read and understand; Media campaigns will focus on childhood obesity prevention; Let's Move website will offer shopping tips and grocery store maps for professionals and consumers
2. Improve healthy foods in schools- funds will be used to increase fruits, veggies, and low-fat dairy in schools, increase meal reimbursement programs, train foodservice workers, and update kitchen equipment in schools
3. Improve accessibility & availability of healthy foods- the goal is to remove food deserts (think Chester, PA- a place where few, if any, grocers are located within the city limits) and increase farmer's markets
4. Increase physical activity- the Dept of Education will create a Safe and Healthy Schools fund to reauthorize the Primary and Secondary Education Act to increase physical activity in schools; Pro sports teams will advocate "60 Minutes of Play a Day"

These are just a few of the campaign objectives, and some are already active. To find out more about Let's Move and use some of the resources provided by our government, visit:

Establishing healthy eating habits at a young age is critical to ensuring a healthy and long life for your child. For most children, it is up to the parents to provide them with the correct foods and be a model for healthy eating. Make sure your child is eating the correct size portions for their age and eating foods that will help their bodies, not hurt. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with me (for you, for your child, or both), please email me at: I would be happy to help you and your child learn to eat and enjoy healthy foods! (website:

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