Last month, the First Lady’s Lets Move! campaign celebrated its third birthday. The landmark initiative is an attempt by Michelle Obama to spearhead a campaign to solve “the problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.”
Unlike many similar initiatives, which are often ad hoc, the Let’s Move! is attempting to provide a more holistic solution to solving the problem of childhood obesity. Forged as a result of the findings of the President’s Task Force on Childhood Obesity, which comprehensively reviewed every aspect of the United States’ approach to tackling childhood obesity, the Let’s Move! initiative is built on five pillars: Creating a healthy start for children, empowering parents and caregivers, providing healthy food in schools, improving access to healthy, affordable foods, and increasing physical activity.
Three years after its inauguration, the Let’s Move! initiative has made some very meaningful strides. The signing into law of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act marked a step change in policy towards childhood obesity, with the legislation aiming to ensure that all children have healthier food in their school and many more have access to a healthy lunch. In addition to positive legislature, chefs and businesses are also joining the fight against childhood obesity. Almost 2,000 chefs have willingly volunteered their time in their local community to help schools become healthier, as part of the Chefs Move to Schools programme, while businesses, such as All-Clad, have donated 1,000 demonstration cooking kits for chefs that are participating in the programme.
The Let’s Move! initiative’s third birthday continued the progress being made. As part of the birthday celebrations, Michelle Obama visited a Walmart store in Springfield, Missouri, to acknowledge the company’s commitment to opening 300 stores in communities where access to affordable, healthy foods is limited, as well as reducing the salt and sugar content of its products.
We adults should go ahead as a good example and live the life we want our children to live one day. This means to get off the couch, switch off the TV, stop playing those online slots all day, and say Let’s Move!