The First Lady's commitment to reducing the "play deficit" – Part I

A lot has been said about the obesity epidemic plaguing the U.S. Too many adults and shockingly, kids, are overweight or even clinically obese. Putting aside the financial cost to individuals and our entire health care system, the negative impact on quality of life for so many citizens can be disheartening.

In response to the epidemic, various efforts have been undertaken by individuals, organizations, companies and governmental entities to address issues such as decreased physical activity, poor eating habits, and unhealthy foods. They all can, in their own way, make a difference.

What was announced recently, though, may be game changer in the effort. The “Let’s Move” campaign was recently announced by First Lady Michelle Obama and it aims to include many of the aforementioned elements into a coordinated program to turn this epidemic around.

Mrs. Obama said the effort would focus on four areas: increasing the number of healthy schools, increasing the level of physical activity in children’s lives, improving the accessibility of healthy food options and empowering consumers to make good food choices.

President Obama signed a presidential memorandum to create the first-ever federal task force to provide “optimal coordination” between private sector companies, not-for-profits, agencies within the government and other organizations to address the problem of childhood obesity.

The idea of getting buy-in from multiple parties is a good one. Not the easiest thing to execute but this is a large problem that needs these various stakeholders to get involved. With that in mind, Michelle Obama addressed the U.S. Conference of Mayors to highlight the various issues and opportunities to work together and learn from each other.

You can read an article from the Washington Post regarding her talk to the group by clicking here.