For the first time in our country’s history, there is a chance that American children may face a shorter expected lifespan than their parents. Why? Because obesity rates have tripled in the last three decades and we must put a stop to this growing trend, before it becomes too late.

One in three American children are overweight or obese. Because of this statistic and related numbers, First Lady Michelle Obama launched the “Let’s Move” national campaign to raise a healthier generation of American kids, in early February.

There are four key components of this national campaign including: providing the tools and support parents need to make food changes within their families; improving the quality of food in schools; making healthy, affordable food accessible in every part of the U.S.; and helping our kids to be more physically active.

Sharon Vadovic, physical education teacher in Northern New Jersey stated, “Currently …[at the school she teaches at] students attend physical education class twice a week for 45 minutes each. This is not nearly enough. Physical education has never been increased, only decreased with the ever increasing budget constraints.”

With this being said, this issue seems to be in the hands of the right people.

In fact, our nations’ leading children’s health foundations have collaborated to form a new independent foundation — the Partnership for a healthier America — that will address these issues with hopes of achieving the national goal of solving childhood obesity within a generation.

The First Lady spoke about her experience as a mother, and said that when her schedule was hectic, she would rely on ordering a pizza or getting fast food for her family as a meal. This needs to be changed, and the “Let’s Move” initiative will help.

“Many young parents use food as a way of placating babies. So, the pattern begins in infancy! … Add this to plunking a child in front of a TV and you’ve got the perfect condition for obesity,” said Lynn Winslow, Professor of Education Courses at the University.

Because this issue starts in the home and at such a young age, one-third of American children will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives.  As a result, health care costs of obesity related diseases are at $147 billion per year.

It will be interesting to see how this will be (or will not be) integrated within the new health care plan signed by the President this week in the near future.

So, if you hope that your future children will exceed your life expectancy, you should consider the steps you take in raising your children, when it comes to the food they eat and the activities they are involved in.

And if you are not expecting to have children in the near future, help the younger generations now, by volunteering your time to promoting healthy lifestyles through being active!

Let’s Move Campaign Facts

  • Obesity rates have tripled within the past 30 years.
  • Nearly 1 out of every 3 American children are overweight or obese.
  • One-third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives.
  • $147 billion dollars are spent on obesity-related diseases per year

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