On September 1, President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Proclamation declaring September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. In his proclamation, President Obama stated, “One of the greatest responsibilities we have as a Nation is to safeguard the health and well-being of our children. We now face a national childhood obesity crisis, with nearly one in every three of America's children being overweight or obese.”
That statistic is staggering. Childhood obesity has been a growing problem for decades, afflicting children nationwide with certain racial, ethnic, and regional kids more severely affected. And research has shown that obesity can be influenced by environmental and behavioral factors, such as unhealthy eating and too little physical activity. (To learn more about the effects of nutrition on behavior, see our webinar, Nutrition and Behavior Problems in Children and Adolescents presented by Dr. James M. Greenblatt, M.D.)
Earlier this year, the First Lady Michelle Obama announced the "Let's Move!" initiative to combat childhood obesity. The President, too, created a Task Force on Childhood Obesity to, as he stated, “marshal the combined resources of the Federal Government to develop inter-agency solutions and make recommendations on how to respond to this crisis.” The Task Force produced a report containing a comprehensive set of recommendations that “will put our country on track for solving this pressing health issue and preventing it from threatening future generations.”
During his statement, President Obama added that the “report outlines broad strategies to address childhood obesity, including providing healthier food in schools, ensuring access to healthy affordable food, increasing opportunities for physical activity, empowering parents and caregivers with better information about making healthy choices, and giving children a healthy start in life.”
The web site, LetsMove.gov offers detail information about these recommendations and as well as information and resources on how to help children eat healthy and stay active.
“Our history,” said the President, “shows that when we are united in our convictions, we can safeguard the health and safety of America's children for generations to come…. When we work together, we can overcome any obstacle and protect our Nation's most precious resource -- our children. As we take steps to turn around the epidemic of childhood obesity, I am confident that we will solve this problem together, and that we will solve it in a generation…. I encourage all Americans to take action by learning about and engaging in activities that promote healthy eating and greater physical activity by all of our Nation's children.”
Have a joyful day everyone. And remember to live a flourishing life.
Written for KidsTerrain, Inc. Reprinted here with permission.