Michelle Obama's Plan to End Childhood Obesity Epidemic
Goal: Cut Child Obesity From 20% to 5% by 2030
WebMD News Archive
Fighting Obesity in Early Childhood
The White House plan makes 12 recommendations for early childhood. Key elements of these recommendations are:
- Educate and help women conceive at a healthy weight and have a healthy weight gain during pregnancy.
- Encourage and support breastfeeding.
- Federal and state agencies should prioritize research into chemicals in the environment that may cause or worsen obesity.
- Educate and support parents in efforts to reduce kids' screen time (i.e. less time watching television and using digital media and more time being physically active).
- Improve federal early childhood programs' child nutrition and physical activity practices.
Fighting Childhood Obesity by Empowering Parents and Caregivers
The White House plan makes 13 recommendations for empowering parents and caregivers. Key elements of these recommendations are:
- The federal government should work with local communities to spread the word about the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the next generation of the food pyramid.
- The FDA and USDA should work with the food and beverage industry to develop standard nutrition labels for packages.
- Restaurants and vending machines should display calorie counts of all items offered.
- The food and beverage industry should extend its voluntary self-regulation to restrict all forms of marketing to children. If this does not happen, federal regulation should be considered.
- Media and entertainment companies should limit licensing of popular characters to healthy food and beverage products.
Insurance plans should cover services needed to help prevent, assess, and care for child obesity.
Fighting Childhood Obesity by Improving School Foods
The White House plan makes 17 recommendations for healthier food in schools. Key elements of these recommendations are:
- Update federal standards for school meals and improve the nutritional quality of USDA foods provided to schools.
- Increase funding for school meals.
- Encourage schools to upgrade cafeteria equipment to support healthier foods. Example: Swap deep fryers for salad bars.
- Connect school meal programs to local growers and encourage farm-to-school programs.
- Improve nutritional education in schools and make it more available.
- Increase the use of school gardens to educate about healthy eating.
- Promote healthy behaviors in juvenile correction facilities.