Let’s Move Campaign: Success = Programs for Community Activity
Since 1980, obesity rates have doubled in adults and more than tripled in children. We see the sobering impact of these numbers in the high rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses that are starting to affect our children. “The Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation” is an attempt to change the national conversation from a negative one about obesity and illness to a positive one about being healthy and being fit.
He says that we need to stop bombarding Americans with what they can’t do and what they can’t eat. We need to begin to talk about what they can do to become healthy and fit.
Increasing physical activity is an important start point. Without an increase in physical activity, overweight kids are likely to remain that way. To that end, Let’s Move! has teamed up with national sports organizations, including the National Football League and Major League Baseball, to develop public service announcements to motivate kids who may see professional athletes as role models.
But many believe that increasing physical activity represents the biggest challenge facing the program.
Many think it’s going to be easier to solve the food problem then the physical activity problem. Many leaders suggest that schools need to support gym and recess and that city planners should keep in mind the development of play areas when “building towns and living spaces.” Ultimately, though, there’s no proven way to entice the unmotivated to get off the couch, he said.
“I don’t know how you can get people to exercise who aren’t willing to or don’t want to,” Dr William Roberts (past president of ACSM) said. “In the end, it has to be an individual decision that you’re going to make the changes you need.” His stance reflects what we believe at HCD. That is why we spend so much effort on the PROGRAM and ENGAGEMENT pieces of the Wellness Resource Network.
Learn more about this topic and voice your comments on how you think the Let’s Move campaign has impacted the issue of childhood obesity.
What part do you believe a “community culture rich in physical activity access and programming” can play for healthy youth?