Ways To Help 5 Year Old First Day Of School 5 Ways The Let’s Move Campaign Will End Childhood Obesity

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5 Ways The Let’s Move Campaign Will End Childhood Obesity

First Lady since January 2009, Michelle Obama is making good use of her time in office. Starting with conversations above the White House Garden, she launched the Let’s Move campaign – a mission to end childhood obesity in America within a generation. Hardly a modest goal, getting all children to reach adulthood at a normal weight will require continued, comprehensive action by all sectors of society. To that end, Let’s Move is reaching out to parents, children, elected officials, schools, community leaders and healthcare providers – every sector of society – to ensure that everyone does their part.

Childhood obesity education

Before someone is motivated to take action, they must understand that there is a reason for it. The first way Mrs. Obama’s campaign is targeting apathy is simply to educate the public about the dire place we are in. Consider these alarming statistics:

Over the past 30 years, the number of obese children in America has tripled, so that today 1 in 3 minors are overweight (too much weight for their height) or obese (too much body fat for their height), and in fact 1 in 3 Americans. It is estimated that Americans today eat almost a third more calories daily than it was in 1960, including alarming amounts of fat and sugar. Such a drastic change cannot help but harm the body. The risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, asthma and many other diseases is known to increase with obesity.

We can no longer pretend that this is an individual matter. With the obesity epidemic among our children, we all need to take responsibility for creating a healthier environment. But rather than being overwhelmed by this responsibility, the Let’s Move campaign presents clear, achievable steps to enable a healthy future.

Start eating healthy

After educating about the problem, the Let’s Move campaign educates the public about the solution. The first step to a healthier lifestyle is learning how to eat right. The disturbing trends of recent decades stem from radical differences in how we eat and what we eat. Not only are portion sizes out of control, but people are often unaware of the quality (or poor quality) of the food they are eating. People simply do not know what is good for them. And if adults are not informed, children even less so. However, information is now more accessible than ever and it is the responsibility of parents and carers to be informed and pass this information on to the next generation.

The Food and Drug Administration, the government agency that regulates the food industry, requires most distributors of prepared foods (canned, boxed, bagged) to label their products with a nutrition facts label that lists serving size, calorie content, and a host of other information. . In 2009, Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg some new initiatives for the FDA, including sending warning letters to companies that misrepresent their products, and working with the food industry to implement front-of-pack labeling that will allow consumers to make even more healthy food choices. easily.

While labels help families be more informed about the foods they consume at home, the fact is that most people eat a large percentage of their food outside the home. Whether from restaurants, schools, snack shops or vending machines, many foods do not come packaged with reliable information. But that’s no longer an excuse. The US Department of Agriculture website provides clear and comprehensive information on the new food pyramid (updated from the old grains-on-the-bottom model that adults may be familiar with) that outlines the components of a balanced meal day. Unlike the old version, Food Pyramid 2.0 incorporates the importance of exercise and redistributes the servings per day for each food category. This website and hundreds of others that provide quality food information empower all Americans to make good healthy food choices.

As well as educating children and families about how to eat well, the Let’s Move campaign aims to make a tangible difference by helping schools lead the way. With school budgets tight across the country, more and more junk food is making its way into the public school system and into our children’s bodies, generally because it’s cheap, convenient, and has a long shelf life. However, when the long-term costs of obesity (higher health care costs) are factored in, childhood restriction is no longer a viable option. School administrators and parents need to get involved and change school choices so that children can learn better when they are in school and live better when they are not there.

Active people

In addition to learning what to put in their bodies, Americans must learn how to use their bodies to keep them in top shape. The USDA says children and teens should get 60 minutes of physical activity a day, while adults should get at least 30 minutes on a regular basis. Most Americans do not meet these standards, and to some they seem unattainable. However, getting enough exercise into the day is only a matter of priorities. The average American child (8-18) spends 7.5 hours PER DAY on entertainment media. The Let’s Move campaign wants to change this by activating families, schools and communities.

Every family’s schedule and lifestyle is different, so incorporating multiple activities will look different in each case. For one family, it may be a decision to walk to any place that is less than a mile from home; for another, it may be a family tradition of four squares in the driveway. Opportunities to be active can become fun and build family togetherness. Jump in your PJs in the morning, dance around the kitchen to your favorite songs, ride your bike to the park or see who can swing higher on the swings. Children love to be active and they love it even more when they can spend quality time with their parents. But even if you can’t get your child away from the screen, entertainment media also has plenty of active options. Nintendo Wii Fit or the popular Dance Dance Revolution or even simple YouTube videos like Exercise with Daniel can get kids excited and active without even knowing it.

Of course, a large portion of children’s days are spent at school, so schools are also responsible for incorporating exercise into the schedule, along with educating students about its importance. Making physical education a priority, providing recess time, expanding and supporting extracurricular sports, and even incorporating physical education into the academic curriculum are all ways schools can help students be their healthiest selves. Every day there is more research showing the benefits of movement for learning – a healthy body makes a healthy brain.

Communities can encourage citizens to live healthy lives by building the infrastructure that supports it. Bike paths, parks, safe routes to and from schools, activity centers and youth programs make exercise convenient and attractive. Initiatives that make team memberships cheaper, offer scholarships for sports activities, or educate disadvantaged students about opportunities in the field can all have a positive impact on children’s lives.

We help people take action

Because change can be overwhelming, Let’s Move has outlined “5 Simple Steps to Success” for each group it seeks to educate: parents, children, elected officials, schools, community leaders, health care providers, and even chefs.

For example, the five steps for a chef are as follows:

1) Join the Chefs Move to Schools initiative. The move encourages chefs to “adopt” the school and work there to educate students, families and administrators about nutritious options and exciting new foods. The Let’s Move website helps chefs find schools (and school chefs) with an interactive, searchable map.

2) Take the HealthierUS School Challenge. Once a school is accepted, chefs can help schools apply for inclusion in the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSCC) by meeting various criteria. The USDA: Food and Nutrition Services page lists the incentives offered to schools that meet the requirements.

3) Learn about child nutrition programs. To be effective in school adoption, chefs can educate themselves about current child nutrition programs and evaluate what can be improved.

4) Preparation for class. When a chef comes next to a school, he must ask well what the school’s goals are and what its current production is. Where does food come from? What are the kitchen facilities like? Does the menu need to be revised?

5) Find recipes for success. Recipes for success are innovative ideas that have proven themselves. Whether the chef gets them from somewhere else or comes up with them himself, sharing ideas across the country can only help us build healthier schools faster.

Connecting people together

Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign sounds like a wonderful idea. But that’s all it will ever be unless Americans take it personally and seriously. To make it a movement and not just a motto, there are clear ways to get involved. In addition to the steps on the action step page, each citizen is encouraged to take the Let’s Move pledge and receive email updates, join a regional Let’s Move meeting to plan activities and strategy locally, and join the Partnership for a Healthier America, which aims to mobilize leadership across sectors to lead the way to health. Anyone can join a Facebook conversation

The Let’s Move campaign is a call to action against childhood obesity that cannot be ignored. in words of promise,

“We believe every child has the right to a healthy childhood. We cannot allow this to be the first generation in our history to grow up less healthy than their parents. The ingredients…better food + more activity…are clear.” Let’s Move isn’t just noble, it’s necessary. It’s not just a slogan, it’s our responsibility.”

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