Michelle Obama knew that taking on the challenge of childhood obesity would be no easy task. One year ago she launched "Let's Move!", a campaign to help fight obesity in young people. She has been help raising awareness for what kind of future our country has if we don't start reversing the trend and focusing on good health and regular activity. Has the program made progress in the past year? In some ways, "yes". In some ways, it might be too early to know.
Childhood obesity is a complicated problem with no easy fix. It's not as simple as removing all soda machines from schools or replacing French fries with fruit in a Happy Meal. Those things can certainly help, but they aren't enough. Childhood obesity is impacted by so many factors, including a child's home life, school life, social life and more. Making a significant change is going to take time and support from a variety of sources.
Mrs. Obama has been speaking to groups around the country, urging cities to build more parks and playgrounds, urging food makers to make healthy changes to the products they sell, urging schools to offer more healthy lunches, and more. She's gotten commitments from food makers like Walmart to make healthy changes to the products they sell. "Walmart promised to reformulate thousands of its store-brand products to reduce sodium, sugar and fat, and push its suppliers to do the same. The company also pledged to cut fresh fruit and vegetable prices, build stores in areas without grocers and develop a logo for products that meet its health criteria. Walmart's grocery business accounts for about 15 percent of the U.S. grocery industry."
Critics say food and beverage makers have made these commitments in the past, but not much ever comes from it. Only time will tell if these promises will become permanent and positive changes. Personally, I think a program like this can only put more of a spotlight on an important issue. So many people expect overnight success when a program like this launches, but I think it's important to be realistic. This is a big issue that’s going to take time to change.
What do you think?