It’s no surprise that the over-fed, sedentary children of the United States need urgent help. Their weight and health has changed rapidly—and not for the better—over the past three decades. In the late 1970’s, only 5% of children were considered obese. Now, according to a White House report that fit-as-a-fiddle Michelle Obama unveiled on Monday, one out of every three (33%) American children is now overweight or obese. Obesity places them at greater risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and cancer in their lifetime, while also placing tremendous stress on our already fragile healthcare system. Some experts also predict that, due to obesity, America has raised the first generation not expected to outlive their parents.
Fortunately, according to the ambitious First Lady, there is some good news, “We don’t need new discoveries or new inventions to reverse this trend. We have the tools at our disposal to reverse it. All we need is the motivation, the opportunity and the willpower to do what needs to be done.” She said.
The 120-page White House task force report Obama presented, called, “Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity within a Generation,” reveals how to take the country’s rate of juvenile obesity back down to what it was in the late 1970’s by 2030. According to the report, this can be achieved by following 70 rather simple and obvious recommendations. Some of those recommendations include educating mothers on the benefits of breastfeeding, improving school lunch programs, limiting “screen time” spent in front of the TV and helping kids get more regular exercise at school.
Instituting these simple changes is likely to prove challenging—especially since it is so difficult to motivate just one person to change. Still, if Americans want to remain strong and vital, they’ve got to step it up! Hopefully, the First Lady can help lead the way.