Let’s Move, says the First Lady
By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson
You don’t need the numbers. You see it all around you: little children too chubby to be called “pleasingly plump,” which is what my grandfather used to say about me when I told him I hated being fat.
More than one-third of American children – some 12 million in all – are overweight or obese (a medical term, not meant as an insult, to designate people for whom the ratio of weight to height is high enough to be a risk factor for diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and worse.)
It’s not the children’s fault. Over the next few weeks you’ll find here a series of essays on the causes of childhood obesity (the topic of the book I’m working on with a co-author who has deep scientific knowledge of the subject.) It’s a community problem, and it’s going to take communities to solve it.
Right now, I want you to know about Michelle Obama’s campaign to overcome obesity in children. She kicked it off last week, and enlisted a host of celebrities and corporations to help. Soon she’ll be traveling across the country, visiting schools, and talking everywhere about the importance of exercise and healthful eating.
The campaign’s web site says:
Let’s Move will give parents the support they need, provide healthier food in schools, help our kids to be more physically active, and make healthy, affordable food available in every part of our country.
The campaign needs to make it clear – because those who would like to see the Administration fail at everything it tries to accomplish, even if the health of children is involved – that there will be no attempt to tell parents what to do, how to feed their children, or to dictate anything.
Instead, it will provide information on healthy food choices, help school districts work toward in-school meals that contain less fat and salt, help communities increase the availability of safe places for children to run and play, and encourage merchants to make fresh fruits and vegetables available in places – the inner cities, mostly – where perishables are hard to find and to buy.
There could hardly be a family better suited to set an example of healthy eating habits — they’re all lean, energetic, bright, and beautiful. But even the Obamas had change their ways to make that so.
Here’s the First Lady herself in a 2-minute video to tell you what the program is all about.
Posted on February 17th, 2010 by Miryam Ehrlich Williamson
Filed under: Nutrition