Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined First Lady Michelle Obama in Des Moines, IA, to kick off a nationwide tour celebrating the second anniversary of “Let’s Move!” They were joined by fitness expert Bob Harper, WNBA star Tamika Catchings, Olympians Michelle Kwan and Shawn Johnson and others, including 10,000 sixth and seventh graders. The event took place on Thursday, February 9, 2012. (USDA Photo by Darin Leach)
New CDC study shows significant decline in prevalence of obesity over a sustained period of time
As the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative celebrates its fourth anniversary, a recently published study shows that the rates of childhood obesity are beginning to decline among children ages two to five. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report showing a forty-three percent drop in the obesity rate among children of preschool age over the past decade.
“I couldn’t be more excited by the news that obesity rates for 2-5 year olds declined by 43% over the last 10 years,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.
“Progress of this magnitude can only be explained by the leadership and hard work we are seeing across this country. From parents to teachers, doctors to community leaders, everyone is stepping up to make small changes that are having a huge impact – and today, healthy habits are becoming the new norm for our kids. We have a long way to go, but I am more confident than ever that we can give all our children the bright, healthy futures they deserve.”
The new report follows CDC’s findings from last summer, which showed that obesity rates among low-income preschoolers declined in 19 states and territories across the country.
Getting kids off to a healthy start is absolutely critical to their long term health, according to health experts and the Let’s Move! officials said they have made early childhood a top priority of their campaign. In 2011, Let’s Move! Child Care was started to empower child care and early education providers to help give kids a healthy start to life. The program encourages 1-2 hours of physical activity, reduced screen time, healthy food such as fruits and vegetables as snacks, no fried foods, only non-sugar sweetened beverages like water and low fat milk, and support for mothers who continue to breastfeed.
“There is tremendous progress being made, but much work remains,” they said.
“ Simple actions by parents can have a major impact on their kid’s health. As part of our continued efforts through Let’s Move! Child Care, here are four simple tips for parents who are working hard to keep their kids healthy:”
1. If you can breastfeed, breastfeed.
2. Fill half your kids’ plates with fruits and vegetables.
3. Serve your kids only water or low-fat milk.
Make sure your kids get at least 60 minutes of active play every