Michelle Obama Announces Childhood Obesity Guidelines

Suzanne Murray

childhood obesity report michelle obamaMichelle Obama is on a mission to help end our country's childhood obesity epidemic. In February, she launched her Let's Move campaign, in March she railed against the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and yesterday she released the recommendations of the Childhood Obesity Task Force, a panel that included the participation of a dozen government agencies.

Research shows that 1 in 5 children becomes overweight or obese by age 6, and that more than half of obese children become overweight before the age of 2.

The task force's report lists 70 steps that can help reduce childhood obesity.

The recommendations include things like giving parents and daycare settings information on how to increase physical activity, improve nutrition, reduce screen time, and make sure kids get enough sleep.

I'm pretty good about making sure my daughter eats, plays, and sleeps enough, and she's never watched TV. It's outside influences that I'm worried about, which is why I'm glad that the report also calls on schools, communities, businesses, restaurants, food manufacturers, and health organizations (like the American Academy of Pediatrics) to get involved.

For example:

Recommendation 2.4: Restaurants should consider their portion sizes, improve children’s menus, and make healthy options the default choice whenever possible.

Recommendation 2.5: The food and beverage industry should extend its self-regulatory program to cover all forms of marketing to children, and food retailers should avoid in-store marketing that promotes unhealthy products to children.

Recommendation 2.6: All media and entertainment companies should limit the licensing of their popular characters to food and beverage products that are healthy and consistent with science-based nutrition standards.

Recommendation 2.9: If voluntary efforts to limit the marketing of less healthy foods and beverages to children do not yield substantial results, the FCC could consider revisiting and modernizing rules on commercial time during children’s programming.

I think the Let's Move campaign is a really good thing for our kids -- what do you think?

You can read the full Childhood Obesity Report at Let's Move.


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