Physical Activity and Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” Campaign

April 12, 2010 · 2 comments

This is a guest post by Amanda.

The backbone of Michelle Obama’s new campaign to fight obesity began about a year ago when she broke ground on the White House Kitchen Garden with students from a local elementary school. The “Let’s Move” campaign was launched in February of this year, and includes four goals:

  • Spread information about healthy options
  • Create healthier schools
  • Establish access to affordable healthy foods
  • Increase physical activity and education in schools

The facts are unmistakable; obesity rates have tripled in the past 30 years. For the first time in United States history, childrens’ life expectancies may be shorter than their parents’. Obesity is a very real and serious issue, and bad health and weight issues have been linked to poor performance on standardized tests and in other areas of life. As First Lady Obama says, the time to make these changes is now.

One of the most promising factors in altering the health of our children is increased physical activity. Starting with preschool physical activity all the way up to high school gym classes, kids will be encouraged and required to partake in exercises. The idea of starting early will establish good habits for youth. Looking at the overall picture of American History, many people are much busier now than they once were, but as a result, physical activity has been put on the back burner.

Organized sports will also take a forefront in Lady Obama’s campaign, as this is one of the best ways to get kids involved during extracurricular hours. The hours spent practicing during the week, and the games on the weekends will make a tremendous difference on the physical states of many children. Organized sports are able to increase after school activity for children, as well. This becomes the responsibility of parents and extracurricular organizers.

There are certainly many obstacles to this new campaign. For instance, more sports and increased physical education participation necessitates more physical education resources. At a time when finances are low, and school budgets are being cut, it is difficult to say who will be responsible for finding the money to fund these new resources.

Furthermore, many states have established policies limiting food availability at schools, namely bake sale products. While seemingly beneficial, this eliminates a large portion of funds that would otherwise benefit sports teams and clubs. New York schools recently banned homemade goods at bake sales, which means these fundraisers will now have processed items such as Multigrain Pop-Tarts and Baked Doritos at higher than market prices instead. These wellness policies are also monitoring the items in vending machines, school stores, and school cafeterias, which has the potential of harming the school’s profits.

Many are upset about some of these schoolwide changes, but budgetary issues are not the only impediments for school officials. There is only so much that schools can do to establish healthy habits and increase physical activity among children. Parents are a huge impediment as they often fuel unhealthy lifestyles. They may not have the time, the desire, or the means to take children to afterschool activities, practices and games. Since a good portion of external activity is out of the control of school officials, internal physical education is becoming one of the only ways to monitor and increase exercise among schoolchildren.

Like This Post? Give me the thumbs up 

{ 2 comments }

William Hanson April 12, 2010 at 8:57 am

Sports are a great way to teach children a variety of things. Teamwork, commitment, socialization and of course active healthy living. I hope Michelle Obama’s initiative is a ranging success. I know sports helped me keep my weight under control when I was young, so I’m sure it could do the say for all the children in America (or Canada for that matter).

Greg April 12, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Including more physical activity will provide a lot of benefits, and may help the obesity some, but the biggest gains will come when kids stop snacking every half hour. Ditto for adults.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post:

© 2007-2019 John Is Fit - Personal Weight Loss Blog. Powered by Wordpress, theme by Thesis, and hosted by Dreamhost.