We have known for a while that Michelle Obama is interested in nutrition, especially for kids. She’s planted a garden on the White House lawn, she has the White House chef make healthy meals for her familiy and now she’s taken obesity head-on.
I am happy to see the problem of obesity in America getting national attention in the form of action instead of just complaining. Mrs. Obama has asked the Department of Health and Human Services and the Surgeon General’s office to assist her with the implementation of her Anti-Obesity Initiative (my words). The outline for her plan is all encompassing it speaks to parents, schools, child-care, the workplace, communities and medical providers. Of course, as with all good ideas they are only ideas until the money follows. I have been involved in several “initiatives” and “workgroups” only to develop goals and objectives that land flat on their face because – uh-oh – there’s no money to see our fabulous ideas to fruition.
A few things I would like to see added to the plan, that I think should be foundation pieces are:
1. Working to subsidize fresh fruits and vegetables instead of crops such as corn and soy.
2. Renovating the National School Lunch Program and the Food Stamp Program to restrict the purchase of unhealthy food items and promote or incentify the purchase of whole grains and produce.
3. Expanding insurance coverage for prevention of obesity, so more dietitians can see families who are at risk for the disease.
4. Focusing on media messages and the marketing of unhealthy food items to children.