Obamas Launch National Effort to Tackle Childhood Obesity
February 11, 2010 -- With the declared goal of curbing childhood obesity within a generation, First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off a major initiative on Tuesday to bring down the nation's alarming rates of obesity among children and youth.
The White House-endorsed "Let's Move" campaign takes a comprehensive approach to engage partners such as food companies, media and entertainment firms, professional athletes, federal agencies, and health professional societies in taking steps to promote healthy food choices and active lifestyles.
The Institute of Medicine has provided an evidentiary foundation on childhood nutrition and prevention of childhood obesity to help guide policymakers and others in tackling this important issue. A series of IOM studies and reports underscore the overall conclusion that preventing childhood obesity requires a multifaceted effort that involves multiple responsible parties -- health care providers, parents, schools, government officials at all levels, media and entertainment companies, and the food and beverage industries -- working in concert to be successful. Among steps already taken, the companies that supply the majority of meals to schools under the federal school meal programs have pledged over the next several years to include more fruit, vegetables, and whole grains in the near term and to meet the standards for fat, sugar, sodium, and whole grains recommended by the Institute of Medicine.
School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children
This IOM report provides recommendations to update the nutrition standards and meal requirements for the national school lunch and breakfast programs. The report sets standards for menu planning that focus on food groups, calories, saturated fat, and sodium and that incorporate Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Dietary Reference Intakes.
Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools: Leading the Way Toward Healthier Youth
This IOM report recommends nutrition standards for foods and beverages offered in competition with federally reimbursable school meals programs, such as those found in vending machines on school grounds.
Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity
This IOM report identifies promising actions that local government officials can take to curb obesity among children. The committee that wrote the report sought action steps that are based on the experience of and within the jurisdiction of local governments; take place outside of the school day; and have the potential to promote healthy eating and adequate physical activity among children.
Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance
In response to a request from Congress for a prevention-oriented action plan to tackle childhood obesity, this IOM report provides a comprehensive national strategy with specific actions for families, schools, industry, communities, and government. It also explores what is needed to initiate, support, and sustain the societal and lifestyle changes that can reverse the obesity trend among children and youth.
Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up?
This IOM report assesses the progress made by obesity prevention initiatives in the two-year period following the release of Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance.
Food Marketing to Children and Youth: Threat or Opportunity?
This IOM report determines that current food and beverage marketing practices puts children's long-term health at risk. The report provides recommendations for different segments of society to guide the development of effective marketing and advertising strategies that promote healthier foods, beverages, and meal options to children and youth.
The Public Health Effects of Food Deserts -- Workshop Summary
The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council convened a two-day workshop in January 2009 to provide input for a congressionally mandated study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service. The workshop provided a forum in which to discuss the public health effects of food deserts.