Michelle Obama's Plan to End Childhood Obesity Epidemic
Goal: Cut Child Obesity From 20% to 5% by 2030
WebMD News Archive
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.
Fighting Childhood Obesity by Improving Access to Healthy Food
The White House plan makes 11 recommendations for improving access to healthy foods. Key elements of these recommendations are:
- Launch a multi-agency "Healthy Food Financing Initiative" to make healthy foods more available in underserved urban and rural communities.
- Encourage local governments to attract grocery stores to underserved neighborhoods.
- Encourage facilities that serve children (e.g., hospitals, recreation centers, and parks) to promote healthy foods and beverages.
- Provide economic incentives to increase production of healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Evaluate the effect of targeted subsidies on purchases of healthy foods through nutrition assistance programs.
- Study the effects of state and local sales taxes on calorie-dense foods.
Fighting Childhood Obesity by Increasing Physical Activity
The White House plan makes 17 recommendations for increasing kids' physical activity. Key elements of these recommendations are:
- School programs should stress physical activity as much as healthy nutrition.
- State and local school programs should increase the quality and frequency of age-appropriate physical education taught by certified PE teachers.
- Promote recess for elementary school students and activity breaks for older students.
- Federal, state, and local agencies should partner with communities and businesses to extend the school day in order to offer physical activity programs.
- The EPA should assist communities building new schools to place them on sites that encourage walking or biking to school.
- Increase the number of safe playgrounds and parks, particularly in low-income communities.
- Encourage entertainment and technology companies to continue developing new ways to engage kids in physical activity.