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President and First Lady Obama and childhood obesity 2010

Posted Feb 10 2010 12:00am

President Obama has stated that childhood obesity is "one of the most urgent health issues that we face in this country".

On February 9, 2010, ABC's Good Morning America featured First Lady Michelle Obama who is launching an initiative entitled "Let's Move!" to combat childhood obesity.

"It's about overall health and physical fitness, not about BMI (body mass index)" she states. Her own daughters had been screened by their pediatrician and the First Family did have to make "small changes" such as eating out less and being more active which did lead to positive changes in their girls' BMI and overall health status. "The important question is how to help people to be more informed, to balance their lifestyle , to walk, run, play, eat their vegetables all while enjoying ice cream cake, burgers and fries on occasion" (paraphrased).

Mrs. Obama encourages her own daughters to participate in sports for health reasons and believes that it is important for children to know what it is like to work out and be fit and sweat. There are plans to expand and modernize the President's Physical Fitness Challenge.

In addition, she aims to increase awareness for all families to be able to make healthy food choices while making fresh produce and foods more accessible and affordable. And it is the goal of the Healthier US Schools Challenge Program and the revisited Child Nutrition Act to provide healthier school meals to all children during their time away from home. Model schools are presented and the tools necessary for interested schools to take on this challenge are provided.

Stay tuned to GMA tomorrow as well as top leaders involved in childhood obesity policy are interviewed.

Click here to read an informative article regarding this topic found in the Orlando Sentinel, Florida.

Photo: AP/J. Scott Applewhite - First Lady Michelle Obama in the State Dining Room of the White House, Feb 9, 2010.

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