This week I had the most AMAZ-I-N-G opportunity. I was invited to the White House, along with 150 other bloggers and vloggers, to attend a discussion on the health of our nation’s kids hosted by the First Lady, Michelle Obama. It was in effort to promote and educate others on the impact the Let’s Move! initiative created by the First Lady in 2010. Let’s Move! is dedicated to helping kids and their families lead healthier lives. During this event we got to tour a little bit of the White House and the White House Garden. We heard from some very informative speakers from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Agriculture, the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, and the Partnership for Healthier America. We even saw a short cooking demonstration by the White House Executive Chef. But what struck me the most were the facts about the rate of obesity in this nation.
Did you know? Over the past 30 years, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. The numbers are even higher in African American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40% of the children are overweight or obese. When I heard this I was floored. We live in a society where kids no longer run outdoors and play catch. Instead they opt for a gaming controller playing baseball via Playstation or Xbox while sitting on the couch. Life moves at a higher pace, so parents have less time to prepare home cooked meals. Eight to 18-year old adolescents spend an average of 7.5 hours a day in front of a TV, computer, or cell phone and only one-third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity.
We have to change this. It is the responsibility of every American, whether you are a parent or not to ensure that our kids grow up healthy.
I know you’re probably wondering ‘what can I do?’ Well there are lots of things you can do to keep your kid active. As a Toolbox Diva, you can motivate your kids. Allow them to be an active participant and help out with your DIY projects. Provide activities that encourage your kids to get off the couch and pick up a brush and help paint and create something wonderful for the home or for his or her room. Here are a few examples of things to do with your kids: 37 Insanely Cute Teen Bedroom Ideas For DIY Decor, 15 Easy Crafts for Kids, and 26 Of The Best Woodworking Projects For Kids.
In the 6 years since the initial launch of the Let’s Move! initiative its progress has been impactful. 1 in 4 Americans now live in a Let’s Move! city, town, or county making it possible for kids to walk to school on new sidewalks, participate in summer meal programs or join a local athletic league. School lunch programs are healthier with Let’s Move! salad bars in schools. And over 10 million kids attend Let’s Move! Active schools where kids strive to get 60 minutes of physical activity a day.
For more information on Let’s Move! and how you can get involved in your community visit Letsmove.gov.
Here is a little video footage I shot from my cell phone while at the event.