September 11, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)
“The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake.”
– First Lady Michelle Obama at the Let’s Move! launch on February 9, 2010
Childhood obesity in the United States has reached the point of epidemic proportions. The CDC says that “Approximately 17% of US children are obese, and certain groups of children are more greatly affected”. September was declared National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month back in 2010. Since then, there have been many steps taken to help the fight against childhood obesity. The government has teamed up with schools to provide healthier options to the children, and programs to get them exercising every day. The only way these changes can stick, however, is with the support of the community and the parents. The healthy habits being promoted at school have to continue to be emphasized at the home. Keeping more fruits and vegetables instead of salty, fatty foods in the house will help to get children used to eating healthy. Children today are used to having such sugary, processed foods that they do not know how to enjoy the healthy, natural options.
The number of obese children in the United States has reached an amount that is unimaginable. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that number is up to one in three children being obese. Over the years, the lifestyle of Americans has changed drastically. Instead of playing outside, children are cooped up inside playing video games, on the internet, or lying around in front of the TV. The number of calories, sugars, fats, and oils in foods has increased at an alarming rate. The American lifestyle needs to change, or else future generations will continue to suffer. Exercising and healthy eating habits must be promoted from a young age to ensure the healthiness of children throughout their life: “Childhood obesity puts nearly one third of America’s children at early risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even stroke – conditions usually associated with “adulthood” (http://www.healthierkidsbrighterfutures.org/about/). It is scary to think that children are in danger of disease and physical issues at such a young age. All of these things can be prevented if everyone joins together, and changes the social view of what the American lifestyle should be.
First Lady Michelle Obama has taken a stand against childhood obesity, establishing the Let’s Move! Foundation: “Since February 2010, Let’s Move!’s mission has been to help kids and families lead healthier lives by making nutritious food more available and affordable, increasing opportunities for physical activity, and fostering environments that support healthy choices”. Through this foundation, First Lady Obama is working hard to make sure that the future of Americans is happy and healthy. The foundation provides tips, skills, and ways to create a healthy lifestyle. Throughout the country, different groups are set up through the foundation. People meet up to share tips, exercises, and anything related to getting future generations healthy.
For more information on Let’s Move!, check out their website at http://www.letsmove.gov/. A healthy America, children, and lifestyle begins at the home. Start there, and it will grow to everyone around, ensuring a bright future for generations to come.