Earlier this week, the First Lady appeared on Larry King Live to discuss her Let's Move Initiative, which is the same day that her Let's Move task force on childhood obesity was launched. The Let's Move Initiative has an ambitious, but critically important goal to "solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation."
Let's Move says that "Childhood obesity or excess weight threatens the healthy future of one third of American children. We spend $150 billion every year to treat obesity-related conditions, and that number is growing. Obesity rates tripled in the past 30 years, a trend that means, for the first time in our history, American children may face a shorter expected lifespan than their parents."
As far as I'm concerned, this is a problem of epic proportions with drastic consequences. Especially when it concerns so many quality of life issues. Unfortunately, I haven't seen anything about getting kids outdoors and as an environmental educator, this seems like a natural fit. I would love to see some kind of a partnership between the No Child Left Inside Coalition (which in addition to getting kids outdoors to play and combat obesity, also promotes investigative and integrated learning through environmental education) and Let's Move. But this initiative is definitely a step in the right direction, and I am anxious to see where it will go from here.
Let's Move has identified 4 ways in which to accomplish the goal to "Raise a Healthier Generation of Kids"
1. Helping parents make healthy family choices;
2. Creating healthier schools;
3. Encouraging physical activity; and
4. Widening access to healthy and affordable food.
There is more information on the Let's Move website about how the task force will be moving on these steps for combating childhood obesity. We'll see if anything in the outdoor education world develops along with Let's Move, but for now, check out Michelle Obama's interview with Larry King about childhood obesity: