Prevention is the best medicine
Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative turned four years old this month. And while our blog consistently covers the men and women who help you when you are sick, sometimes we overlook the best remedy – prevention. It is the onus of all RN to BSN, Healthcare Science and Behavioral Health students to learn how to promote wellness with helpful information.
On the heels of its four-year anniversary the New York Post reports, “Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign [includes] new rules that ban sugary soft-drink ads from school property, including scoreboards. Student discount coupons for junk food would also get yanked under the new guidelines announced by the first lady on Tuesday. ‘The idea here is simple: Our classrooms should be healthy places where kids aren’t bombarded with ads for junk food,’ she said.”
The first lady’s campaign attacks our nation’s obesity epidemic, which contributes to catastrophic maladies, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol levels, cancer, infertility, back pain and many other issues.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 17 percent (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2 — 19 years are obese and the prevalence of obesity has tripled since 1980.
Pennsylvania is now the 20th most obese state in the nation. After three decades of increases, adult obesity rates remained level in every state except for Arkansas. However, rates remain high — Pennsylvania’s adult obesity rate is 29.1 percent, up from 23.8 percent in 2003 and from 13.7 percent in 1990.
However, “Let’s Move” has made amazing accomplishments that are sure to have a positive impact on our nation’s health for years to come, including:
- The Partnership for a Healthier America teamed up with 157 hospitals to deliver more healthy options throughout their facilities. These hospitals have committed to work over the next three years to improve the nutrition of patient meals as well as that of the food options in on-site cafeterias. This includes more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-calorie options, and healthy beverages.
- In December 2010, President Obama signed into law the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, groundbreaking legislation that is helping American public schools offer healthier school meals for tens of millions of American children. And in January 2012, the USDA released new school meal regulations to boost the quality and nutrition of our national school lunch and breakfast programs – including offering more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and less sodium, saturated fat, and trans fats.
- Walgreens, Supervalu, Walmart and several regional grocers announced a commitment to build or expand 1,500 stores in communities with limited or no access to healthy food. This initiative will create thousands of local jobs, and will provide access to fresh food to an estimated 9.5 million people who currently have limited access. In California alone, the Fresh Works Fund has committed 200 million dollars to this effort to increase access to healthy food.
Read the full list of “Let’s Move” accomplishments here.