White House Task Force Reports on Kiddie Obesity

By Juell Stewart May 13, 2010

The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity—a committee launched in tandem with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign—released their report to the President last week, outlining 70 ways to tackle the epidemic of obesity in a generation. The report sums up the reasons for the problem: the relationship between car-centered urban design and decreased physical activity, as well as, the hours kids spend online that might otherwise be used for exercising outdoors. But instead of wagging a finger at parents for not making their children do jumping jacks in the rain, the Task Force’s report surprisingly acknowledges the many players responsible for obesity including legislators, retailers, food companies and health care professionals. Among the report’s best recommendations: suggestions to change food advertising to focus on the dietary content of the products instead of the characters licensed to them. This would happen through self-regulatory solutions within the industry (and we know how well that works!) and then realistically through FCC regulation. The report also recommends the usual feel-good, to-do list like bolstering prenatal care services and giving parents and caregivers more tools to make better nutritional decisions.