Michelle Obama, Anti-Obesity Crusader
Let’s face it—our nation needs to go on a diet. Statistics on our national obesity epidemic are nothing short of terrifying, with more than two-thirds of American adults now overweight or obese. Among children, rates have tripled in the past 30 years.
Being overweight is linked to everything from heart disease and cancer to depression and lower wages. So of course, being overweight is linked both to decreased quality of life—for a person’s entire life—and to decreased national prosperity.
Enter Michelle Obama, who is—laudably—calling for both personal and political action. She and her husband are setting a healthy example by getting plenty of exercise and planting a garden. She is spearheading a national campaign for education and personal action called “Let’s Move.” And she’s calling for fast action on legislation that will address the need for health education, healthy food in schools, and physical activity.
In today’s Washington Post, FLOTUS writes:
Right now, our country has a major opportunity to make our schools and our children healthier. It’s an opportunity we haven’t seen in years, and one that is too important to let pass by.
The Child Nutrition Bill… will bring fundamental change to schools and improve the food options available to our children.
To start, the bill will make it easier for the tens of millions of children who participate in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program — and many others who are eligible but not enrolled — to get the nutritious meals they need to do their best. It will set higher nutritional standards for school meals by requiring more fruits, vegetables and whole grains while reducing fat and salt. It will offer rewards to schools that meet those standards. And it will help eliminate junk food from vending machines and a la carte lines — a major step that is supported by parents, health-experts, and many in the food and beverage industry.
Could anything be more important that our children’s health, with the clear lifetime implications?
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