Healthier Families and a Healthier Nation
This week, I was proud to join the First Lady and my colleagues across government for the announcement of her new initiative to combat childhood obesity: Let's Move! As a mother, I am struck by the fact that 1 in 3 children are overweight or obese and understand the desire to see our kids healthy while they are young, and as they grow into adulthood.
We know there are severe and long-lasting consequences from higher rates of diseases like diabetes to greater risk factors for potentially fatal conditions like heart disease and certain cancers. Childhood obesity is an epidemic, and we need to act now.
There's no single solution to this challenge. And no group can do it alone. That's why HHS is teaming up with departments from across government and partnering with organizations from doctors to community groups to industry.
With Let's Move, we hope to create an environment where parents, schools and communities have the resources to provide healthier options for kids and families. That means not just changing habits, but empowering consumers to make better food choices and teaching them to understand nutrition information. It's also about taking time out of our busy lives to make sure that kids get the 60 minutes of daily activity they need to stay healthy.
At the Department of Health and Human Services, we're attacking obesity on multiple fronts. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is supporting community initiatives around the country that help kids stay healthy from bringing fresh produce to food deserts to designing more walkable neighborhoods. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working with industry to set new standards for the existing nutrition facts d label, and to prepare guidance for front of package labeling, to make it easy for busy parents to pick out healthy foods. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) are working to deepen our knowledge about what causes obesity and more importantly, what we can do to reduce it. The Health Resources and Services Administration is training doctors and nurses about the obesity epidemic and how to manage affected patients. And those are just a few examples.
Parents also play a critical role. We are the role models for our children. There are very simple steps each of us can take to make sure our kids have good diets, things as easy as taking our kids grocery shopping so they learn which foods are healthy, serving smaller portions and eating together when we can. And this partnership between parents and kids doesn't just apply to eating. Parents and kids can be active together - by taking walks and riding bikes.
The health of this nation and the health of our economy are directly tied to our united ability to combat childhood obesity. We hope you will join our efforts to improve the health of our children, and end this epidemic within this generation. Click on our Join the Move to End Obesity below, sign up to get email updates of what we all are doing to end childhood obesity in a generation.