Obamas Take On Problem of Obese Children

This press release is an announcement submitted by Reuters, and was not written by Diabetes Health.

President Obama signed a memorandum on the establishment of a childhood obesity task force.

Feb 9, 2010

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -  Alarmed that nearly a third of U.S. children are obese or overweight -- and likely to stay that way all their lives -- President Barack Obama launched an initiative on Tuesday to roll back the numbers and put his wife in charge of promoting it.

Obama signed an executive order setting up a task force to include Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and other cabinet officials.

"I have set a goal to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight," Obama said in signing the order on Tuesday at the White House.

He asked first lady Michelle Obama to head up a national public awareness effort.

"She will encourage involvement by actors from every sector -- the public, nonprofit, and private sectors, as well as parents and youth -- to help support and amplify the work of the federal government in improving the health of our children," Obama said.

"Obesity has been recognized as a problem for decades, but efforts to address this crisis to date have been insufficient."

He assigned his cabinet officers to meet within three months and come up with "a comprehensive interagency plan."

Reports on the U.S. obesity epidemic have recommended such an approach.

The independent Institute of Medicine has found in several studies that Americans will have to exercise more, eat less fatty and sugary food and eat more fruits and vegetables to overcome obesity and the heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other health problems it brings.

But the independent Institute has also recommended policy changes to help people accomplish this -- changes in zoning to encourage exercise, changes in school lunch programs, policies to encourage grocery stores to open in areas where healthy food is hard to come by and better public transport to get people out of their cars.

"Without effective intervention, many more children will endure serious illnesses that will put a strain on our healthcare system. We must act now to improve the health of our nation's children and avoid spending billions of dollars treating preventable disease," Obama said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that 68 percent of U.S. adults are overweight and half of these are obese, with a body mass index of 30 or higher.

Obesity rates were relatively stable between 1960 and 1980 but have risen rapidly since 1980.

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 Source: Reuters press release (Reporting by Maggie Fox)


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Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes, Food, Government & Policy, Kids & Teens, Pre-Diabetes

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Posted by Anonymous on 9 February 2010

Then give more money to the Public Health Departments and not to big coorporations.....

Posted by Anonymous on 11 February 2010

To do any change at all we need to start with our children. Especially elementary school and preschool ages. We all train our children to sit and study, read, write, watch TV. Spend 7+ hours a day at school sitting at tables or desks, with about 20 min. to wolf down a lunch, if you are not fast enough than you have to throw it away. If you are lucky you may have a short recess to run and play. Hm, Just what are we teaching? Then you get to the upper levels of public school. Sit in class, be quiet, but do the work and learn so you can pass a test. Then rush in 5 min to your next class to repeat the process of a well rounded education. What a shame that the system is only set up for the children that fit within this type of structure. Shame on the children and parents that don't. My son and I never did fit but we learned real well how to sit and do nothing physical. He is slim but a high school drop out. To much abuse for his differences. I graduated but am obese. The system is not broken! It is a failure! Bandages will not help!

Posted by seashore on 12 February 2010

A major cause of obesity is the mistaken belief that a low-fat diet reduces obesity. This program will undoubtedly result in more low-fat foods in school lunches. Low-fat foods, usually replace the fat with carbs, and cause more obesity.

The primary way to reduce obesity is to reduce carbohydrates.

Posted by Anonymous on 12 February 2010

Yeah reducing your carbohydrates and increasing your exercise will help prevent our children from becoming obese. I agree with you seashore. They are going to cut out high fatty foods add carbs and we will have more obesity and even more type 2 diabetes at a young age. I sure hope that they take this seriously and not just as a publicity act.

Posted by jlnhjm on 14 February 2010

Surely in each school there is a parent or two who is an exercise instructor. Once mandatory PE (or gym as we used to say) in reinstated in schools, for all grades, one of these parents can come in on a voluntary basis and fire up the kids. PE should use any tools to keep every kid moving, all thru the class. Pilates comes to mind; vigorous dancing, power walking. The point would be to instill a love of exercise, as well as keep the studentss moving.

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