The journal Childhood Obesity marks the second anniversary of Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative with a special issue - here is a link list to the articles which are not behind a paywall. They appear to be very accessible.
The forward by the First Lady:
When I first decided to focus on the issue of childhood obesity, I wondered whether it was really possible to make a difference. I knew the conventional wisdom on this issue—particularly when it comes to changing how and what our kids eat. there’s the assumption that kids don’t like healthy food, so why try to feed it to them? there’s the belief that healthy food doesn’t sell as well, so companies will never change the products they offer. there’s the sense that this problem is so big, and so entrenched, that no matter what we do, we’ll never be able to solve it.
Two years later, I am thrilled to report that because of the hard work and leadership of individuals and organizations from every sector of our society, we have begun to change the conversation about childhood obesity in America. since we launched Let’s Move!, we’ve made significant progress—from providing our kids with healthier food and greater opportunities for physical activity in school and in their communities, to getting families the information they need to make healthier decisions, to ensuring that more people have access to healthy, affordable food.
For example, major food manufacturers are cutting sugar, salt, and fat from their products. Restaurants are revamping their kids’ menus, loading them up with fresher, healthier options. Companies like Walgreens, superValu, Walmart, and Calhoun’s Grocery are committing to build or expand 1500 stores and sell fresh food in underserved communities across this country. Retailers are working to lower the cost of fruits, vegetables, and healthy options. Congress passed historic legislation to provide more nutritious school meals to millions of American children. schools are growing gardens. More than 1000 salad bars have been added to school cafeterias. Cities and towns are opening farmers’ markets. Congregations are holding summer nutrition programs for kids. Medical professionals are screening children for obesity and teaching parents how to address it. Consumers have a new icon, MyPlate, to help make healthy choices for their families. Parents are reading those food labels and rethinking the meals and snacks they serve to their kids.
And because we know that physical activity is also critical for keeping kids healthy, people across the country are coming up with innovative ways to help our kids engage in active play every day. schools are starting running clubs and fitness competitions, and teachers are incorporating physical activity into classes ranging from music to math. Communities are keeping high school gyms open on weekends. businesses are supporting youth sports leagues. Faith leaders are starting exercise minis- tries, and faith and community organizations have logged more than 1.5 million walking miles.
And with the launch of this issue of Childhood Obesity, we have taken another important step forward. in these pages, scholars, policymakers, and health professionals provide valuable insight, commentary, and information on our epidemic of childhood obesity. in doing so, they greatly enhance our conversation about this most urgent health challenge for our next generation.
We still have a long way to go in solving this problem. but I am confident that with the leadership exemplified by parents, businesses, schools, physicians, and authors like those whose ideas fill these pages, we will solve this problem and give our children the happy, healthy futures they deserve.
It is hard to believe this became politicized... It is amazing that one party seems to feel discouraging childhood obesity is somehow un-American.
At least the First Lady has created a bit of progress. There are many paths and rather than fight about what is optimal it seems reasonable to just start trying as this is an enormous health problem.
So much more needs to be done.