Three years ago, Michelle Obama announced that her platform as first lady would be ending childhood obesity. She launched the Let’s Move! campaign in 2010 in order to bring together community leaders, teachers, doctors, nurses and parents in an effort to solve the problem of childhood obesity. It is her ambitious goal to solve the epidemic within a generation. We think it’s great that Mrs. Obama has put such an important issue in focus, and that Let’s Move! keeps adapting.
Since Let’s Move! started, Mrs. Obama has asked us to plant gardens, get up a dance and cut calories. She has even called on the U.S. military to set a good, healthy example for the rest of Americans. Her next step in evolving and adding to her quest against childhood obesity is asking people to drink more water. This new initiative, called Drink Up, urges Americans to drink water in the place of other beverages they consume. The first lady even “stole” the TODAY show anchors’ coffee and replaced it with water during an appearance last week.
In fact, on September 26, when millions of kids participate in the JAM Challenge, 60 seconds is all they’ll need to break a world record. In an effort to quell childhood obesity, two organizations—Heal-E-tips and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation—have teamed up for the second annual Just-A-Minute Challenge. The program intends to encourage children across the U.S. to get active everyday, even if it’s just a minute.
With the state of childhood obesity reaching epidemic proportions, 60 seconds of movement could make a big difference. According to the CDC, more than one-third of children and adolescents in America are obese. In 1980, only 10 percent of our young people were overweight or obese. Statistically, children who are obese tend to stay obese throughout their lives, and are at great risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and low self-esteem.
The JAM World Record event aims to dramatically reduce those astonishing numbers. In 2012, 1.3 million children from 17,000 schools participated in the event, and this year the goal is 3 million. Exercise guru Patricia Friberg will be the JAM fitness leader for the nationwide event, and has released a video with NFL running back C.J. Spiller. It’s good to see the NFL getting involved in the childhood obesity fight, especially after the beastly burgers they endorsed last month.
An alarming new trend has come to light following the release of an article in the October issue of Pediatrics. According to researchers from the Mayo Clinic, teens who have a history of obesity of being overweight are at a higher risk of developing eating disorders as they undergo treatment for their weight problems.
The study looked at two cases where teens were brought to their doctors by concerned parents. Though the teens’ symptoms matched those of eating disorders, the doctors were hesitant to diagnose the teens with disordered eating. Instead, both were originally diagnosed with much rarer conditions. The study further states that this may have happened due to the fact that the teens were at healthy Body Mass Indices (BMI).
It’s baaaack. Pink slime, an ammonia and beef byproduct that spurred one of the most talked about controversies in 2012, is being reintroduced to school lunches now that the media spotlight has dimmed. School districts in Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Virginia are patiently waiting for their pink slime burgers to ship from the USDA, all to save mere pennies on the dollar.
Shocking as that may sound, schools in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota never stopped serving the pseudo beef. Beef Product Incorporated is the company that makes and sells pink slime, formally known as “ammonia-treated lean finely textured beef,” or LFTB. In layman’s, LFTB is unwanted bits of cow mixed with ammonia and sent through a centrifuge—just like mom used to make. This process was invented by Beef Product Inc to help get the most possible product out of cows. Then, they sell it for cheap, hence the reason school districts bought it in the first place—to save money.
Last November we stood in solidarity with the state of California as they attempted to be the first U.S. state to mandate the labeling of Genetically Modified foods (GM or GMOs). Despite strong efforts, the opposition managed to win that battle round. We’re in this to win the war, and round two is right around the corner. Washington State has an initiative on their November ballots regarding labeling. Today and this entire week we are all out to make some noise and get the #Yeson522 campaign the attention it deserves.
A refresher for those who may have forgotten: the goal is to get GMOs labeled. To allow citizens of the United States the freedom to know what’s in the food they’re consuming. Companies are still free to use GMOs until their hearts are content, we just want the foods to state their ingredients honestly. After all, over 64 other countries either ban or label GMOs, why are we behind the times? You can infer all you want with that question. Bottom line: we want our foods labeled. If Washington wins this round, we have a great start to win the war.