By Pamela Gentry, Senior Political Anaylst
May 11, 2010 – First Lady Michelle Obama stepped up her plan for curbing childhood obesity Tuesday when she released an action plan with more than 70 recommendations to help curb the troubling trend.
The report on “Let’s Move” prepared by a task forced pulled together earlier this year defines the problem and offers recommendations toward reaching the goal of lowering obesity rates among young folks to just five percent by 2030.
If successful that rate would mirror the rate for children prior to the 1970’s when trends began inching upward.
Here is a summery of the report’s outlined recommendations.
• Getting children a healthy start on life, with good prenatal care for their parents; support for breastfeeding; adherence to limits on “screen time”; and quality child care settings with nutritious food and ample opportunity for young children to be physically active.
• Empowering parents and caregivers with simpler, more actionable messages about nutritional choices based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans; improved labels on food and menus that provide clear information to help parents make healthy choices for children; reduced marketing of unhealthy products to children; and improved health care services, including BMI measurement for all children.
• Providing healthy food in schools, through improvements in federally-supported school lunches and breakfasts; upgrading the nutritional quality of other foods sold in schools; and improving nutrition education and the overall health of the school environment.
• Improving access to healthy, affordable food, by eliminating “food deserts” in urban and rural America; lowering the relative prices of healthier foods; developing or reformulating food products to be healthier; and reducing the incidence of hunger, which has been linked to obesity.
• Getting children more physically active, through quality physical education, recess, and other opportunities in and after school; addressing aspects of the “built environment” that make it difficult for children to walk or bike safely in their communities; and improving access to safe parks, playgrounds, and indoor and outdoor recreational facilities.
Will you work with children in your family following the above recommendations?