is a campaign to end childhood obesity
Childhood obesity is a condition where excess body fat negatively affects a child's health or wellbeing. As methods to determine body fat directly are difficult, the diagnosis of obesity is often based on BMI. Due to the rising prevalence of obesity in children and its many adverse health effects...
in the United States. The campaign was started by First Lady
First Lady of the United States is the title of the hostess of the White House. Because this position is traditionally filled by the wife of the president of the United States, the title is most often applied to the wife of a sitting president. The current first lady is Michelle Obama.-Current:The...
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is the wife of the 44th and incumbent President of the United States, Barack Obama, and is the first African-American First Lady of the United States...
. The initiative has the goal of "solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight."
The campaign was announced on February 9, 2010 by the First Lady. She indicated the campaign would encourage healthier food in schools, better food labeling and more physical activity for children. On the same date, President Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...
signed a presidential memorandum
A presidential memorandum is a type of presidential order issued by the President of the United States to the executive branch of the United States government. Presidential memoranda do not have an established process for issuance or publication...
creating the Task Force on Childhood Obesity
The Childhood Obesity Task Force is a United States Government task force charged with reducing childhood obesity in the United States. It was founded on February 9, 2010 by the Obama Administration through a Presidential Memorandum, announcing the establishment of a Task Force on Childhood...
to review current programs and develop a national action plan.
seeks to combat the epidemic of childhood obesity and encourage a healthy lifestyle through "a comprehensive, collaborative, and community-oriented initiative that addresses all of the various factors that lead to childhood obesity [. . .] engaging every sector of society that impacts the health of children to provide schools, families and communities the simple tools they need to help kids be more active, eat better, and get healthy."
A song was released to promote the campaign called Let’s Move! Flash Workout. The song was by Beyoncé Knowles
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles , often known simply as Beyoncé, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she enrolled in various performing arts schools and was first exposed to singing and dancing competitions as a child...
and Swizz Beatz
Kasseem Dean , better known by his stage name, Swizz Beatz, is an American record producer, DJ, rapper and painter. At the age of 17, he gained attention in the hip-hop world through his friendship with rapper DMX. Grady Spivey and rapper Cassidy helped launch his label Full Surface Records...
, it was called "Move Your Body". The video was shot in a school cafeteria where Beyoncé was dancing with children.
Body Mass Index
The body mass index , or Quetelet index, is a heuristic proxy for human body fat based on an individual's weight and height. BMI does not actually measure the percentage of body fat. It was invented between 1830 and 1850 by the Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet during the course of developing...
(or BMI) is a measurement of weight in relation to height that can help to determine weight status. In children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are a United States federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services headquartered in Druid Hills, unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, in Greater Atlanta...
(or CDC) determine that a child is overweight if he/she is above the 85th percentile and lower than the 95th percentile and obese if at or above the 95th percentile.
The CDC indicates that there are several factors that can contribute to childhood obesity: genetic factors; behavioral factors including energy intake, physical activity and sedentary behavior; and environmental factors. Overweight and obesity pose many potential risks and consequences: psychological; cardiovascular disease
Heart disease or cardiovascular disease are the class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels . While the term technically refers to any disease that affects the cardiovascular system , it is usually used to refer to those related to atherosclerosis...
; among additional risks including asthma
Asthma is the common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath...
, hepatic steatosis, sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing, during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from a few seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Similarly, each abnormally low...
, and type 2 diabetes
Diabetes mellitus type 2formerly non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or adult-onset diabetesis a metabolic disorder that is characterized by high blood glucose in the context of insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency. Diabetes is often initially managed by increasing exercise and...
. Today nearly one in five children in the U.S. between ages 6-19 are obese, and one in three are overweight. The childhood obesity rate tripled from 1980-1999 creating an epidemic and a generation where children may have shorter life spans than their parents.
The Let’s Move!
initiative focuses on the reform of behavioral factors and environmental factors by focusing on active lifestyles and healthy eating through community involvement, including but not limited to schools, parents and healthcare providers.
To promote healthy eating, the Let’s Move!
initiative focuses on nutrition information, the next generation food pyramid
MyPyramid, released by the United States Department of Agriculture on April 19, 2005, is an update on the American food guide pyramid that was used until June 2, 2011, when the USDA's MyPlate replaced it. The icon stresses activity and moderation along with a proper mix of food groups in one's diet...
, empowering consumers and having pediatricians as partners. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has put Dietary Guidelines together to form a food pyramid that can be personalized, which can be located at MyPyramid.gov. This website has made a page just for children so they can become more interested in healthy eating. Let’s Move!
also wants to give more power to consumers through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of the United States federal executive departments...
(or FDA)’s “New Front-of-Package Labeling Initiative” and “New Menu and Vending Machines Labeling Requirements.”
advocates healthy eating habits to be promoted by families, schools, and communities. Let’s Move!
urges mothers to eat more healthily when pregnant and offers links to a special “MyPyramid Plan for Moms” so they can create a personalized and healthy diet. The initiative also provides guidelines for parents to set up and promote healthy eating habits for their entire family and children. In order for healthier eating to be promoted at schools, Let’s Move!
promotes the USDA’s HealtheirUS School Challenge.
- "The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) is a voluntary initiative established in 2004 to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity.
- In February 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama introduced Let’s Move!, incorporating the HealthierUS School Challenge into her campaign to raise a healthier generation of kids. At the time, monetary incentive awards became available for each HUSSC award level: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Gold Award of Distinction."
Random House publishers has said Michelle Obama will be writing a book on her White House garden, and her family's favorite healthy cooking ideas.
The CDC recommends that children engage in one hour or more of physical activity
Physical exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. It is performed for various reasons including strengthening muscles and the cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss or maintenance, as well as for the purpose of...
every day. It states that children should do three different types of activity: aerobic activity
Aerobic exercise is physical exercise of relatively low intensity that depends primarily on the aerobic energy-generating process. Aerobic literally means "living in air", and refers to the use of oxygen to adequately meet energy demands during exercise via aerobic metabolism...
, muscle strengthening and bone strengthening.
looks to promote physical activity through the support and cooperation of families, schools and communities. On children, the initiative states, "Those who feel supported by friends and families or are surrounded by others interested in physical activity, are more likely to participate." Let’s Move!
also provides several guidelines for schools to promote physical activity, including strong physical education
Physical education or gymnastics is a course taken during primary and secondary education that encourages psychomotor learning in a play or movement exploration setting....
programs, and indicates the subsidizing of such guidelines with several government programs. Guidelines by which physical activity can be promoted in communities are also outlined on the Let’s Move!
Republicans and Democrats alike have criticized funding the program through cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
The United States Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program , historically and commonly known as the Food Stamp Program, is a federal-assistance program that provides assistance to low- and no-income people and families living in the U.S. Though the program is administered by the U.S. Department of...
"food stamp" program. The cuts were proposed on the heels of a previous 13.6% cut to the foodstamp program.