From the Battle Creek Enquirer:
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is supporting a new effort led by First Lady Michelle Obama to combat childhood obesity.Read the full article:
Her campaign launched Tuesday when President Barack Obama signed a memorandum creating a task force on childhood obesity.
"Our current generation is actually on track to have a shorter lifespan than their parents," Michelle Obama said at a Tuesday press briefing at the White House.
Because one in three American children is overweight, or at risk of becoming overweight, "We have to act, so let's move," she said.
Sterling Speirn, president and chief executive officer of the Battle Creek-based philanthropic organization, said the Kellogg Foundation will commit its expert knowledge and financial resources to the First Lady's Let's Move challenge.
"Let's Move is a campaign that's going to rally our nation to achieve a single but very ambitious goal: to solve childhood obesity in a generation," Michelle Obama said.
To keep the initiative running even after the Obamas leave the White House, the First Lady said a new, independent, nonpartisan organization will be created to meet four goals set by the coalition:
• Offering parents the tools and information they need,
• Getting healthier food in schools,
• Ensuring all families have access to healthy and affordable food,• Increasing opportunities for kids to be physically active both in and out of school.
Childhood obesity is an epidemic that affects Americans across the spectrum of race, class and income. However, it can disproportionately affect those who live in poverty. Born into a culture that already doesn't value health as highly as it should, low-income families are further disadvantaged because they lack access to healthy foods and health care.
According to a study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, income is a higher predictor of health than genetics. In a study called "The Poor Pay More," researchers write about the widespread impact of the well-being of the poor on our society as a whole:
There are many reasons to be concerned about the well-being of the poor. Poverty limits the ability of individuals to fully participate in society; they miss out on the benefits of such participation as does society as a whole. Poverty’s effects spread within families and across generations and require social expenditures that take resources from other areas.Read the full study here:
We also now see that the effects of poverty go beyond social and economic concerns and are felt on the body as well. The notion that the “poor pay more” extends to their bodies as well. In an endless cycle, we have an endgame in which poverty begets poor health and poor health can lead to poverty.
It is not enough to simply acknowledge that poverty robs some of us of good health and weakens us as a country. Much is known about the potential for national policies, and related policies at the state and local level, to break the links between poverty and poor health. Applying such knowledge is a critical step in improving the health of our nation.