by intern Christine Binder
Back in February, Michelle Obama unveiled Let’s Move!, her campaign to end childhood obesity. As part of this effort, President Obama established the Task Force on Childhood Obesity, whose job it was to develop a roadmap to tackle the problem. This May, after three months of research, including input from 12 federal agencies and 2,500 submissions from the public, the Task Force released their plan outlining benchmarks, strategies, and actions to reduce the rate of obesity in children to 5% by 2030.
The 124-page report, entitled “Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity Within a Generation,” includes 70 recommendations for actions for both the public and private sectors to take. The recommendations fall under the Here’s the full report, and here’s an excellent short summary of the recommendations.
Like many other public health professionals, I am optimistic about this report, but cautiously so. It is clear that when it comes to approaching the obesity epidemic, the Obama Administration gets it. Most of the Task Force’s recommendations focus on creating an environment where the healthy choice is the easy choice instead of the difficult one. Jane Black of the Washington Post writes, “The new report has some serious policy implications. Yet the administration so far has shied away from getting its hands dirty in political and legislative fights in this particular arena.” The big question is, does the government have the willpower to do what needs to be done?