As part of this effort, President Barack Obama established the Task Force on Childhood Obesity to develop and implement an interagency plan that details a coordinated strategy, identifies key benchmarks, and outlines an action plan to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation.
The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity released a report that presents a series of 70 specific recommendations to help combat the childhood obesity epidemic, many of which can be implemented right away. Here are some things YOU can do to help.
10 Things Parents Can Do to Join Obama’s Efforts and Help Kids be Healthier
- Decrease Screen Time. Decrease your child’s screen time (computers, television, video games, etc.) to less than two hours per day for children two years and older. Children who are under the age of two should not be exposed to television.
- Encourage Daily Physical Activity. Make sure your children are getting one hour or more of physical activity each day. To encourage them, find an activity that you and your children love to do together. Presidential Active Lifestyle Award Program
- Walk or Bike to School. Encourage active transport (walking, riding a bike, running, riding a scooter, etc.) between homes, schools, and destinations for afterschool activities.
- Increase Access to Recreational Sites. If a recreational park is not close by, contact your local government. Encourage joint-use agreements to increase children’s access to community sites for indoor and outdoor recreation.
- Check Childcare Activities. Parents should review features of their childcare center, including policies regarding activity and provider training.
- Stay Informed. Use websites that reference science-based nutrition information. Parents and caregivers can find information about nutrition and healthy eating on this website and through the We Can childhood obesity prevention program.
- Learn about Food Labels. Learning to understand food labels will help making decisions about food choices much easier!
- Use Key Messages Daily. Remember these key healthy meal messages every day …
Drink water instead of soda or juice with added sugar
Avoid foods that consist mainly of added sugars or fats
Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins
Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products (such as 1% or skim milk)
- Teach Kids about Nutrition. Teach and review with your kids how to use MyPyramid, which encourages eating well-balanced meals. You may also direct them to our Kids’ Healthy Eating website where they can learn as they play!
- Make the Most of Mealtime. Make mealtime an event. Instead of eating out, find a kid-friendly, nutritious recipe that you can all cook together!
“[A]t the core of this endeavor is a simple concept we all embrace, which is that children should have good, nutritious food to eat and the chance to be physically active every day, so that they grow up into healthy adults.” –The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity Report to the President
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The obesity rate in American children has tripled over the past 30 years, and their expected lifespan is now less than their parents! There are things you can do at home … and at school … to help change this!
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