Yesterday, Michelle Obama and Cabinet officials announced the release of the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity report. The report includes 70 recommendations and a governmental nudge that, if action isn’t taken in various areas to make the recommendations a reality, the gov’t will step in.
The Task Force aims to drop child obesity rates down to 5% (or lower) by 2030. With current rates fluxing around 20%, that’s quite a drop.
The five broad guidelines of the report are:
- Reduce the risk of obesity early in childrens’ lives, with good prenatal care for their mothers, promotion of breastfeeding, limits on “screen time”, and quality child care settings with nutritious food and many opportunities for young children to be physically active.
- Empower parents and caregivers my making nutrition information more useful, improving food marketing and labeling practices and strengthening the health care provider’s role in patient education and healthcare services.
- Provide healthy food in schools, through improvements in federally-supported school lunches and breakfasts, improving the nutritional quality of other foods sold in schools and improving nutrition education and the overall school environment to match these healthier food offerings.
- Ensure access to healthy, affordable food by eliminating “food deserts” in urban and rural America, lowering prices of healthier foods, providing a broader range of healthy foods in the marketplace and giving all access to resources for consumers to make healthful choices (via education, nutrition assistance programs, etc.)
- Increase physical activity levels in children through quality physical education, recess, and other opportunities in and after school, modifying the “built environment” that make it easier and safer for children to walk or bike in their communities and improving access to safe parks, playgrounds, and indoor and outdoor recreational facilities.
This is the most far-reaching initiative of its kind in U.S. government, with a larger number of people and groups on the bandwagon than ever before. We think there’s definitely a lot of promise with this initiative and can’t wait to see how it gets started across various sectors of the U.S.