The US Increases Awareness of the Growing Danger of Childhood Obesity

In the US, 18 percent of 5- and 6-year-olds entering kindergarten are obese. Many of these children will face a lifetime of diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. In an effort to curb this alarming trend, the White House chose September to be National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

This plan, which was started by the First Lady, aims to combat childhood obesity by initiating challenges, providing education, and making policy changes that enable children to make better choices. As a result of her efforts, the White House has launched the Lets Move! initiative. The White House also implemented policy changes at the federal level that would require school lunches to contain healthier food choices. In his memo declaring September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month the president described his administration’s accomplishments in this way:

“Earlier this year, my Administration implemented part of the historic Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act by releasing new rules for school lunches and breakfasts that ensure a higher nutritional standard one that includes more whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, and less fat and sodium. These changes represent the first major revision to school meal requirements in more than 15 years”

Cause of Uphill Trend Uncertain

Many researchers across the globe are looking for an answer to why our children are becoming more obese. Most experts agree the major reason kids are obese is the lack of physical activity and the increase in sugar containing beverages, but there are many other factors that may contribute to the weight trend. The CDC published a list of possible causes, including:

  • Increased advertising of junk foods
  • Larger portion sizes
  • Lack of breastfeeding support
  • Increased use of TV and other media

Other factors may be an issue as well. A recent study in Norway has shown that genetically modified foods may also contribute to obesity. Other critics say that food quality or additives may be partly to blame.

To find out more about the goals and accomplishments of the White House’s battle against childhood obesity, visit the Let’s Move! website, www.LetsMove.gov.


Sources:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/08/31/presidential-procl...
http://www.heraldsun.com/view/full_story/20248022/article-Childhood-obes...

http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/problem.html

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