Let’s Move – America Fights Back Against Childhood Obesity
Childhood Obesity – The Facts
Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in the United States have tripled. Today, nearly 1 in 3 children in America are overweight or obese. These numbers are even higher among the African American and Hispanic communities where nearly 40% of children are overweight or obese.
How did we get here?
Thirty years ago, children in America lived a life that was more conducive to maintaining a healthy weight. Children walked to school, played outside, ran at recess, and participated in gym class. Meals were often prepared at home where portion sizes were controlled, and vegetables were served with each meal.
Many children today either get dropped off at school, or take the bus. Recess and physical education classes at many schools have been cut or replaced with a computer lab. After school, many children spend their afternoons watching TV, playing video games, or surfing the internet.
Portion sizes have also exploded. Children consume meals that are anywhere between 2-5 times larger than in past years. Overall, children are eating 31% more calories than they were forty years ago. The increased amount of calories also includes 56% more fats and oils, and 14% more sugars and sweeteners. The average American now eats fifteen more pounds of sugar a year than in 1970.
Let’s Move!, launched by First Lady Michelle Obama, is a comprehensive initiative dedicated to solving the epidemic of childhood obesity in America. The initiative combines comprehensive strategies with common sense, and puts children on the path to a healthy future during their early childhood years. Let’s Move! works to provide our children with healthier foods in school, ensures that every family has access to healthy and affordable food, and encourages children to become more physically active. The habits that children form at a young age will be habits that they take with them for life.
For sources and additional information please visit: http://www.letsmove.gov