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"Weight of the Nation": What's Weighing Heavily On Our Health

This week – May 7th thru 9th – the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hosts “Weight of the Nation,” a forum acknowledging the progress of policy changes and the role of environmental strategies in obesity control and prevention.

Focusing specifically on: early care and education, states, tribes and communities, medical care, schools and workplaces, this Washington-based conversation has sparked national attention. Startling statistics forecast that by 2030 42% of Americans will be obese. First Lady Michelle Obama, Let’s Move! and others work tirelessly to change those odds for America’s youth.

On Monday Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef and Senior Policy Advisor on Healthy Food Initiatives, spoke at “Weight of the Nation” addressing the simple wins that have made Let’s Move! such a success – a success due largely to all the support from and efforts of Americans just like you.“Long before these issues were front page news, you all were in the trenches sounding the alarm and taking action,” Kass said.

The conference’s theme “Moving Forward, Reversing the Trend” represents exactly what this Administration is pushing for. Yesterday, Sam Kass announced:

The USDA will be releasing $4 million to states to help farmers markets become EBT accessible. This will increase lower income families’ ability to purchase healthier food nationwide.

But making healthier food affordable and available is just one component of the solution. A comprehensive approach is needed – simply building a grocery store in a community that needs it isn’t going to solve the problem on its own.

Continuing a holistic approach to getting Americans healthy will take: improvements to policy, adapted obesity prevention measures and evaluation changes, and effective portrayals of the benefits of healthfulness as a lifestyle. “That’s what Let’s Move! is” – a first step toward change for a future where children grow up with healthy habits as toddlers and adults live long into their adulthoods.

Read full remarks from Sam Kass at “Weight of the Nation.”