Childhood overweight and obesity is a serious problem globally. One of the hardest hit countries is the United States, where half of children are overweight for their age. As such, First Lady Michelle Obama has launched an important program called Let’s Move to try to find ways to deal with the problem – and it deserves a lot of attention!
Let’s Move aims to help families manage and prevent childhood obesity from four vantage points:
- helping parents make healthy choices for their kids
- finding ways to make the school environment healthier
- increasing physical activity
- finding ways to access healthy and affordable food
This program is designed for Americans, but I think that countries around the world can benefit from the fabulous ideas and resources that are collected on this website. The links in the right hand column of each of these sections (which you can access directly by clicking on the purple links above) are particularly rich in important tips and ideas that any family struggling with obesity can become inspired by. Under the physical activity tab, for example, there are great ideas for making family time active and reducing TV time to grow a healthier, more active family. Please note that the physical activity and nutrition guidelines (including the USDA Food Pyramid) are specific to the American recommendations, and your own country’s guidelines may differ in some respects.
There is a long way to go in combatting childhood obesity, but these are some great ideas to get started! I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to tackle the problem of overweight as a family, and I love that this program really promotes the family approach. The age of 6 months to 2 years is a crucial window when the type of food parents choose to feed their kids can program what they eat for the rest of their lives, so don’t wait until teenage years to get started. Use these helpful tools to raise your children in a healthy enviroment from day 1!
Dr. Sue © 2010 www.drsue.ca firstname.lastname@example.org