It’s been a little over three years since Michelle Obama began her ambitious Let’s Move initiative; the official anniversary was February 9. The goal is nothing short of eradicating childhood obesity “within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight.” With those lofty goals, what’s been accomplished so far?
The first lady announced yesterday a nationwide tour to celebrate the anniversary of Let’s Move and answer that very question. “The tour will showcase progress and announce new ways the country is coming together around the health of our children,” said the release on WhiteHouse.gov. “The national childhood obesity rate has leveled off, and even declined in some cities and states.”
Your child’s food in school is changing for the better. Last year the USDA required new healthier guidelines for school lunches. The changes to school lunches were made to help stop the increasing rate of childhood obesity. As reported by USA Today, foods sold at schools’ a la carte and vending machines will have to be healthier than they were before.
Here is a proposed standard of what a la carte and vending machines could look like in the near future:
Foods cannot contain high amounts of sugar, fat, and saturated fat.
Reduced-fat cheese, nuts and nut butters (almond butter, peanut butter, pistachio butter) can contain trans fat, but no other alternative foods can have trans fat.
A la carte and vending machine foods must be either a fruit, vegetable, dairy produce, protein food, whole-grain-rich grains or a combination of foods that have 1/4 cup of fruit of vegetables.
10% of calcium, potassium vitamin D or fiber must be present in the foods. Read Full Post >
Obesity is killing Americans faster than a speeding train. OK, I might be exaggerating, but this disease, flagged as an epidemic, isn’t getting any better unless we as a society start actively living healthier lifestyles. Obesity causes a host of diseases and health problems that include high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, joint problems, and even death.
That all seems par for the course, but did you know that obese individuals are more likely to die in car accidents? According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there was an 80% increase in fatalities in traffic accidents for obese individuals. What could be causing obese people to die more often in car accidents? An obese drivers’ lower body is ejected farther before the seat belt safely engages the pelvis, plus the extra tissue on the driver stops the seat belt from fitting snugly, thus making it harder for the driver to be held safely upon impact.
Another factor at play is the design of cars. Researcher Thomas M. Rice said, “Vehicle designers are teaching to the test – designing so that crash test dummies do well. Crash-test dummies are typically normal size adults and children.” Read Full Post >
With this week’s inauguration wrapped up, Michelle Obama is set to be the nation’s first lady for another four years. She made a huge impact on the nation’s fight against childhood obesity in her first term and will no doubt continue to focus on that platform through 2016.
The first lady has tirelessly worked to tackle childhood obesity, most notably through her Let’s Move campaign that launched in 2010. The effort brings teachers, leaders, doctors, parents, and students together in a nationwide effort to educate about and reverse the challenges of childhood obesity. It can be a touchy subject, but there are times when Mrs. Obama approaches the subject with fun and excitement. We’ve compiled our favorite fittest moment of Michelle Obama’s first term and look forward to seeing what’s up her very toned sleeves in the years ahead. Read Full Post >
Author Dara-Lynn Weiss’ airs her dirty linen in public in a controversial new memoir, “The Heavy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Diet.” She shines the light on a most important topic: How can we prevent our kids from becoming overweight? The Heavy chronicles the journey of a mother’s struggle to help her young daughter to get healthy. We first met Dara-Lynn and her daughter, Bea, last April in a Vogue essay from the overbearing mom’s point of view. Bea was deprived and publically shamed. It wasn’t pretty. The blogs condemned mom.
For sure, we need extensive interventions to curb the childhood obesity epidemic, but does the solution lie in a rescue by mom as the food police? The research does not agree. Dietitian Evelyn Tribole, co-author of the bookIntuitive Eating, outlines the studies nicely in this video, Warning Dieting Causes Weight Gain.
She shows how the act of dieting, independent of genetics, is a cause of overweight. Deprivation diets can lead to food obsession, binge-eating, and more weight gain. Dieting is passed down from mothers to daughters. Dara-Lynn had strange practices of her own with frequent weigh-ins and juice cleanses to keep the numbers in line. Studies show that a mother’s over-concern about her own size is later expressed in her daughter’s negative body image and feelings of low self-worth. Read Full Post >