Saturday, February 11, 2012
Let's Move turns two!
First Lady Michelle Obama's national "Let's Move!" campaign to enhance the health of our nation celebrated its second anniversary this week. The primary emphasis has been on encouraging healthy eating and physical activity among our nation's young people. It was surprising and encouraging to see that the US Defense Department is also getting on board. They are updating their nutritional standards to add more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products with every meal. Isn't it great when adults lead by example, and not the old standby "do as I say, not as I do".
I'll never forget watching the Minneapolis Police band play a concert at Lake Harriet. Based on their portly appearance it appeared that most of them had desk jobs and were not either eating or exercising properly. Sadly, a pretty fair representation of the general public. It is amazing to witness a Center for Disease Control and Prevention chart that shows the changing obesity (BMI > 30) rates among the states since 1985. We've gone from a nation where NONE of the states had rates of obesity over 20 percent to our current status where ALL of the state obesity rates are 20 percent or above, with many over 30 percent. Fully 34 percent of the adults in Mississippi are obese. This has staggering implications for quality of life, health care and worker productivity.
So, hat's off to the First Lady in her efforts to improve the health of our nation. Let's move!