Today is President Obama’s 50th birthday. While it may make many of us cringe that we have hit the half century mark, think about what you would feel like if you were president. The highest office in the land is notorious for aging the men who have held it. All you have to do is look at pictures of President Obama from four short years ago.
Thing is, being 50 these days isn’t so rough if you take care of yourself.
“These days, we consider men in their 50s to be young at heart – literally and mentally,” says William Pollack, Ph.D., of the Harvard medical school.
If you think you’re too busy for fitness, try being the leader of the free world and keeping a healthy lifestyle. So how does the busiest person with the most stressful job on the planet stay fit? It’s always a good idea to work out first thing in the morning. It gives you an energy boost the rest of the day and less opportunity to make excuses. It just so happens that when you’re President of the United States, first thing in the morning is nearly a requirement, so it works perfectly for Obama.
“Most of my workouts have to come before my day starts,” says President Obama. “I probably get in about 45 minutes of exercise.” (more…)
In March of 2010, the Congress passed a set of health care reforms, spearheaded by President Obama, that had failed to be written into law by previous administrations. Yet as soon as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed by the president, calls for its repeal immediately sounded from Republicans. A compromise for some, a huge victory for some and a setback for others, the health care bill remains the center of a fierce debate. The government’s role in health care is about more than helping citizens stay healthy, it is closely tied to the underlying ideals about how the country should run.
Both sides of the aisle agree that further reforms are needed to reduce the cost of government-funded health care, but it is the extent and form of these changes that is widely debated. Health care is poised to be a major point of contention in the upcoming presidential debates, particularly among the candidates vying for the Republican nomination.
President Obama’s State of the Union address came at a politically fortunate time in his presidency. On the heels of the Arizona tragedy that took the lives of six people and injured 13 others, including congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who is still bravely fighting through her ordeal, the president has political capital to espouse some of his most prized initiatives to Congress and the rest of the country.
This tragedy has in some small way helped unify the country around President Obama after his well-received speech in Arizona… at least for the 53 percent or so who approve of the work he is doing as president, a dramatic turn from the low forties he was in just a few months ago.
The central themes to Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address were education, moving the country forward in the technologies of the future, and how we need to prepare the workforce for the 21st century economic realities. (more…)
One of Michelle Obama’s greatest passions is helping our children grow up healthy and reversing the alarming childhood obesity trend. Seeing President Obama sign the the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act last week was particularly meaningful for her.
“We can all agree that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, all children should have the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow and to pursue their dreams, because in the end, nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children. Nothing. And our hopes for their future should drive every single decision that we make,” said Mrs. Obama.
This new bill, backed with bipartisan support, was further explained by President Obama. “We need to make sure our kids have the energy and the capacity to go toe to toe with any of their peers, anywhere in the world. And we need to make sure that they’re all reaching their potential.”
“Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges that the public has ever faced.” – Jeffrey Levi, Executive Director of the Trust for America’s Health
We’ve all heard that childhood obesity is on the rise. The figures support the claim, with more than one in three children classified as overweight or obese. In the past forty years, obesity rates in the United States have soared among all age groups, with the highest percentage of growth among those ages 6 to 11. President Obama recently declared September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, in conjunction with his wife Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative. From his proclamation, “Each year, nearly $150 billion are spent to treat obesity-related medical conditions. This is not the future to which we want to consign our children, and it is a burden our health care system cannot bear.”
So what can we, as parents, do to help our children? (more…)
Tune in this Monday, May 24 to the Rachael Ray Show when the Obama’s personal trainer, Cornell McClellan, shares the President’s and First Lady’s workout tips for staying in shape.
If you wish you had sculpted arms that look like First Lady Michelle Obama’s, then it’s time for a White House workout.
While people on the left and right are debating the more popular issues regarding President Obama’s health care bill, if you look deeper into the legislation, there is Section 4205. This bit of the bill requires all restaurants with more than 20 locations to provide nutrition labeling for everything on their menu.
While this may be something new on the federal front, cities and states have already started taking this preventative health measure on their own, including New York City and Philadelphia. Mandatory nutritional labeling is also being scheduled to take effect soon in California, Massachusetts, and Oregon.
There are studies that support both sides of the argument. Supporters of the legislation site studies, including one from Stanford University that found that customers at Starbucks chose foods with lower calories when they were labeled. Another study found that when parents were presented with nutrition labels, they chose 100 fewer calories per meal on average for their children.
Michelle Obama has had a tremendous impact on American families with her push for living healthy and goal of eliminating childhood obesity in her role as first lady. She announced recently that her new initiative aimed at targeting childhood obesity is under way, and adds that her feelings on the program crystallized when she was faced with a less than favorable report from her daughters’, Sasha and Malia, pediatrician.
“We went to our pediatrician all the time,” Obama said, via ABC News. “I thought my kids were perfect — they are and always will be — but [the doctor] warned that he was concerned that something was getting off balance.”
Mrs. Obama says that she was too close to really see the changes in her girls and when the doctor suggested that Mrs. Obama look at her daughters’ BMI numbers, she made small diet changes. Those small changes that she made in their daily habits helped to pull the numbers back into balance.
Instead of being applauded for her efforts, Mrs. Obama has been the subject of controversy for her use of the word “diet.” Reports have said that by using her daughters as an example, she may have harmed their self-esteem. Some critics have said that she should have focused more on lifestyle change, instead of weight loss. (more…)
A recent article from the Associated Press caught our attention. Rather than critiquing President Obama’s health care reform bill, his national security plan or his initiatives to curb the effects of climate change, the article instead analyzed how the president has been taking care of himself during his first year in office. And what a first year it has been.
Keeping in line with other previous presidents, President Obama takes his health very seriously. Not only does he start his day with a morning workout but he and first lady Michelle have created a White House community garden in order to extol the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables and to combat childhood obesity.
But given an economy that rivals The Great Depression, skyrocketing unemployment rates, a controversial war in Afghanistan, a failing automotive industry, a housing and mortgage crisis, and a foiled terrorist attack on Christmas Day, some are wondering if the stress of the past 365 days has taken its weighty or rather weight loss toll on the president.
A report released jointly by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows that the percentage of obese or overweight children is at or above 30 percent in 30 states, and adult obesity rates increased in 23 states and did not decrease in a single state in the past year. The study, titled F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America 2009, reports that in 1980, only fifteen percent of Americans were classified as obese, but that percentage has more than doubled, with more than two-thirds of Americans officially classified as overweight or obese. Let’s look at these numbers for a minute. What does it mean to be “overweight or obese”? (more…)