First Lady Michelle Obama meets with members of the board of Partnership for a Healthier America, an organization working to end childhood obesity, at the Omni Hotel in Washington, D.C., Nov. 30, 2011. Mrs. Obama later delivered the keynote address at the PHA’s inaugural Building a Healthier Future Summit. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which works with the private sector and its honorary chairwoman First Lady Michelle Obama to solve the nation’s obesity crisis, hosted its first national summit this week on November 29 and 30, 2011. Roughly 800 business leaders, community leaders, academic experts, government officials, parents and others joined together at the Omni Shoreham Hotel for the Building a Healthier Future Summit to share their experiences, form partnerships and announce substantive commitments to aid the fight against childhood obesity.
The two honorary vice chairs of PHA, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Mayor Cory Booker, laid out the challenges the nation faces as a result of the impact of childhood obesity on the economic, the health care system and our military readiness. But the conference was not about reciting the problems. It was about taking action. Senator Frist told of the enormous changes that are taking place in the market place with companies that are selling good-for-you foods showing higher profits and enhanced competitiveness, which you can read more about in a Politico piece penned by Senator Frist and Mayor Booker. Mayor Booker described how his city of Newark and Let’s Move! Cities and Towns all over the country are finding ways to encourage healthy eating and sponsor physical activity.