Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, affecting children across the nation and changing country’s overall health and wellness. Building on the momentum of the Let’s Move! campaign and highlighting the steps that individuals, families and communities can take to address this issue, President Obama recently issued a proclamation making September 2010 National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.
The new Presidential Proclamation encourages Americans to be more active in addressing this ongoing struggle and raising a healthier generation of children:
“One of the greatest responsibilities we have as a Nation is to safeguard the health and well-being of our children. We now face a national childhood obesity crisis, with nearly one in every three of America's children being overweight or obese. There are concrete steps we can take right away as concerned parents, caregivers, educators, loved ones, and a Nation to ensure that our children are able to live full and active lives. During National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, I urge all Americans to take action to meet our national goal of solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation.”
The President also highlighted the Let’s Move! campaign and the government’s work to address this issue innovatively and collaboratively:
“Earlier this year, the First Lady announced Let's Move!, an initiative to combat childhood obesity at every stage of a child's life. As President, I created a Task Force on Childhood Obesity to marshal the combined resources of the Federal Government to develop interagency solutions and make recommendations on how to respond to this crisis. The Task Force produced a report containing a comprehensive set of recommendations that will put our country on track for solving this pressing health issue and preventing it from threatening future generations.
The report outlines broad strategies to address childhood obesity, including providing healthier food in schools, ensuring access to healthy affordable food, increasing opportunities for physical activity, empowering parents and caregivers with better information about making healthy choices, and giving children a healthy start in life. I invite all Americans to visit LetsMove.gov to learn more about these recommendations and find additional information and resources on how to help children eat healthy and stay active.”
Finally, the President reflected on the ingenuity of the American people and called for a united front in meeting the challenge of childhood obesity:
“Our history shows that when we are united in our convictions, we can safeguard the health and safety of America's children for generations to come. When waves of American children were stricken with polio and disabled for life, we developed a nationwide immunization program that eradicated this crippling disease from our shores within a matter of decades. When we discovered that children were going to school hungry because their families could not afford nutritious meals, we created the National School Lunch Program. Today, this program feeds more than 30 million American children, often at little or no charge. When we work together, we can overcome any obstacle and protect our Nation's most precious resource -- our children. As we take steps to turn around the epidemic of childhood obesity, I am confident that we will solve this problem together, and that we will solve it in a generation.”
Read the full proclamation.