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Let’s Move!: Two Years of Healthy Changes For Our Nation’s Kids

First Lady Michelle Obama joins students for a "Let's Move!" Salad Bars to Schools launch event at Riverside Elementary School in Miami, Fla., Nov. 22, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Since launching Let’s Move! on February 9, 2010, significant progress has been made to solve the problem of childhood obesity. Parents, businesses, educators, elected officials, members of the military, chefs, physicians, athletes, childcare providers, community and faith leaders and kids themselves have made substantial commitments to improve the health of our nation’s children. Through working together with Let’s Move!, these groups have provided children with healthier food and greater opportunities for physical activity in schools and communities, helped get families the information they need to make healthier decisions, supported a healthy start in early childhood, and have worked to ensure more people have access to healthy, affordable food.

Just some of the many accomplishments of Let’s Move! in the past two years include:

  • In December 2010 President Obama signed into law the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, a groundbreaking piece of legislation, to help all kids have healthier food in school. In January 2012, USDA released new school meal regulations to update the quality of nutrition through the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs. Changes include ensuring kids are offered and served more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and less sodium, saturated fat and trans fats
  • Walgreens, Supervalu, Walmart and several small grocers announced a commitment to build or expand 1,500 stores in communities with limited or no access to healthy food. The companies estimated that 9.5 million people who currently have limited access to nutritious food will now have healthy food in their neighborhoods and create thousands of jobs for local residents. In addition, the Fresh Works Fund committed 200 million dollars to eliminate food deserts in California. 
  • Darden, the world’s largest full service restaurant company, which owns Olive Garden, Red Lobster and others, made a commitment to improve their kids menus by offering a fruit or vegetable and low-fat milk with every meal, as well as reduce total calories and sodium by 20% over the next 10 years across their menus. 
  • We launched My Plate and Mi Plato – an easy to understand icon to help parents make the healthier choice for their families. Over 5,700 groups have partnered with the USDA to get simple nutritional information to families across the country. 
  • We far exceeded our goal for one million people to complete the President’s Active Lifestyle Award in a year – and in one year alone 1.7 million Americans achieved their PALAs
  • We exceeded our goal in the Healthier US School Challenge with over 1,500 schools meeting high standards in nutrition and fitness, and the list continues to grow.
  • Walmart’s Nutrition Charter committed to lowering the cost of fruits and vegetables as well as healthier options like whole grain products by 1 billion dollars in 2011. In addition, Walmart pledged to work with manufacturers to remove 10% sugar and 25% sodium in categories throughout the store. 
  • The country’s largest food manufacturers pledged to cut 1.5 trillion calories from the market place by 2015 through their Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation.
  • The American Beverage Association committed to put clear calorie labels on the front of their products to give consumers better information.
  • We launched Let’s Move! Child Care to ensure that our youngest children are getting a healthy start. To date approximately 2,000 child care professionals and organizations have registered online to implement new criteria for nutrition, physical activity and limiting screen time. The Department of Defense, General Services Administration and Bright Horizons committed to implement new standards – that commitment represented over 2,000 centers serving nearly 300,000 children. 
  • We launched Let’s Move! Museums and Gardens and more than 500 institutions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have signed up to offer active exhibits and healthy food choices. 
  • Let’s Move! Salad Bars to Schools has delivered over 1,000 salad bars to schools in the past year – making fruits and vegetables accessible to hundreds of thousands of kids. 
  • Faith and community organizations have initiated a broad range of activities including logging over 1,500,000 miles walked and working to provide healthy food to their congregations.
  • We worked with the US Tennis Association to build or refurbish over 3,000 kid-sized tennis courts across the country and sign up over 250,000 kids to complete their PALAs. 
  • Businesses stepped up to help schools meet their challenges, like All-Clad, which donated 1,000 cooking demonstration kits for chefs who are working to make schools healthier.