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Let' Move Blog

Educators Join First Lady's Work to Fight Childhood Obesity

I am so pleased by the response from the education community to the First Lady's call - "Let's Move." Since the launch of this national initiative to fight childhood obesity, education groups are rallying around this national initiative to fight childhood obesity. They recognize that children learn and develop in school so many of the habits that will be with them for a lifetime.

These groups are promising to establish rigorous standards for the quality of their meals, promote physical activity, and teach students about healthy nutritional choices through the Healthier U.S. Schools Challenge Program.

To support Let's Move, the American Association of School Administrators will be reaching out to superintendents to promote awareness of the Healthier Schools Challenge with the goals of recruiting 2,000 schools to adopt its healthy standards over the next two years, especially in rural and suburban areas.

The Council of the Great City Schools, which represents 66 urban school districts that enroll 7.5 million students, is committed to having all of its schools participating in the program within five years.

The National School Boards Association will recruit at least one local school board member in every state to champion this cause, and the National Association of State Boards of Education will continue working closely with eight states to set policies and take steps to support healthy children. These are just a few of the meaningful steps that organizations and individuals in education are taking to move us close to our goal of ending childhood obesity in a generation.

At the Department of Education we are funding comprehensive approaches to student wellness, recognizing that physical activity, nutrition and other healthy habits work in combination to support students' academic success. If children are hungry and lethargic, they're not going to learn. We don't need more studies to convince us of this. Our department is also working closely with other government agencies focused on children's wellbeing. Childhood obesity is a problem we all need to pitch in to tackle together.

Schools are absolutely essential in the fight against childhood obesity. Some children get half their daily calories at school, and those calories should be the most nutritious they can be. Through healthier meals, a commitment to physical activity, and better nutritional education, schools can make a life-changing difference for children.

Learn more about Healthier Schools and visit the USDA Healthier US School Challenge website.