It’s “ready, set, go” for tackling childhood obesity

LatinaLista — Today the Childhood Obesity Task Force released their “action plan” on getting kids slimmer. Titled Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity Within a Generation, the report echoes what First Lady Obama said when she launched her Let’s Move! campaign back in February.

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The Task Force identified 70 specific actions to get the nation’s kids back to what children’s weight was in the 1970s, which constituted an obese rate of only 5 percent.

Some of the recommendations were:

Getting children a healthy start on life, with good prenatal care for their parents; support for breastfeeding; adherence to limits on “screen time”; and quality child care settings with nutritious food and ample opportunity for young children to be physically active.

Empowering parents and caregivers with simpler, more actionable messages about nutritional choices based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Providing healthy food in schools, through improvements in federally-supported school lunches and breakfasts; upgrading the nutritional quality of other foods sold in schools; and improving nutrition education and the overall health of the school environment.

Improving access to healthy, affordable food, by eliminating “food deserts” in urban and rural America.

Getting children more physically active, through quality physical education, recess, and other opportunities in and after school; addressing aspects of the “built environment” that make it difficult for children to walk or bike safely in their communities.

Unlike other actions plans that emerge from Washington, this one is ready to be implemented. The report also includes a list of federal agencies ready to change existing standards and guidelines to comply with the end goal of the campaign.

For example:

USDA will update the Dietary Guidelines and Food Pyramid

USDA, Treasury, and HHS will work with Congress to bring grocery stores and other healthy food retailers to underserved areas.

DOT and EPA will promote walking and biking to school.

 

HHS will release new guidance for standards for physical activity and nutrition in child care settings, and help consumers make informed choices at restaurants and grocery stores, by getting calorie counts onto menus.

“For the first time, the nation will have goals, benchmarks, and measureable outcomes that will help us tackle the childhood obesity epidemic one child, one family, and one community at a time,” Mrs. Obama said. “We want to marshal every resource – public and private sector, mayors and governors, parents and educators, business owners and health care providers, coaches and athletes – to ensure that we are providing each and every child the happy, healthy future they deserve.”

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