Michelle Obama Releases Plan To ‘Reverse Childhood Obesity’
USA Today: "First lady Michelle Obama unveiled a plan today to 'reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity' and called for help from governments, schools and businesses as well as the families themselves. ... Obama and her aides released a task force report titled Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity Within a Generation. The goal, she said, is to 'ensure that our children can have the healthy lives and the bright futures that they deserve'" (Jackson, 5/11)
CBS News: "The report includes familiar themes, emphasizing the importance of improved nutrition and physical activity. It also calls for some new and dramatic efforts to curtail marketing of unhealthy foods. 'We have a roadmap for implementing our plan across our government and across the country,' Michelle Obama told reporters today. But administration officials repeatedly emphasized the effort would rely on 'bully pulpit' pressure and not any new federal mandates to push the changes. ... The advisory panel proposes better food content labeling on products and vending machines. Restaurants and vending machine companies are urged to display calorie counts" (Maer, 5/11).
The Wall Street Journal: "The report contends that companies' previous efforts to regulate marketing of sugary and fatty foods on their own have shown minimal results. During the past five years, food makers including Kraft Foods Inc., General Mills Inc. and others have stopped advertising certain unhealthy products to children through a handful of venues including television, radio and print advertising."
Obama's task force also suggests insurance plans should cover problems faced by obese children. "Pediatricians should be encouraged to calculate children's body-mass index and provide information to parents about how to help their children achieve a healthy weight, it says" (Adamy, 5/12).