How My City Is Committing to Improving Food Choices for Our Kids
|September 13, 2013||Posted by Stacy under Junk food in school, Let's Move, Making change, Obesity|
Yesterday I sat down with a member of our city council and helped him sign up for Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties. After months of phone tag and postponed meetings, we sipped coffee, pulled up the Let’s Move sign-up page on my iPad and got the job done. My dream of getting a group of local officials and organizations together to address child nutrition in our schools and elsewhere throughout our community is finally becoming a reality.
Our central Idaho town is unique in that the adult obesity rate, at 15.1 percent, is much lower than in other parts of our state and less than half the national average. Yes, we have overweight and obese kids but not nearly as many as you see elsewhere. Children here tend to be very active, which may explain why more aren’t showing visible signs of eating poor diets. Because, like elsewhere, most aren’t eating nearly enough fruits and veggies and are consuming way too much junky processed stuff.
The Let’s Move Towns, Cities and Counties initiative involves committing to five specific goals designed to reduce child obesity and create long-term improvements in health. We plan to tweak those goals to better serve the needs of our community. But they will address food choices in schools, after-school and rec programs, and other venues.
I can’t wait to sit down at the table with city officials, registered dietitians, recreation directors, administrators at our local YMCA and key players from our school to come up with strategies for improving our kids’ health. It’s a big relief that I no longer have to wage this war against junk food on my own. Now it isn’t just MY problem, it’s OUR problem. And as a combined force (especially with elected officials involved!), we will be much more powerful.
What kinds of healthy initiatives are happening in your community? I’d love to hear any and all ideas related to creating a healthier food environment for kids!