Surgeon General’s Report Lays Out Recommendations To Address Childhood ObesityThe Atlanta Journal Constitution: "As many as one in three children are overweight or obese, according to a new report" released yesterday by U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. The report included various recommendations including: "Requiring students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12 to take physical education, ... child care providers to offer at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day ... [and] schools to develop comprehensive wellness plans that include policies to offer kids more nutritious lunches."
First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at an event marking the report's release, saying that "many schools have reduced PE classes, recess and other activities because of budget cuts. At the same time, the recession has caused many cash-strapped families to forgo healthier foods in favor of cheaper, less nutritious meals." Additionally, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius noted the United States "spends nearly $150 billion on obesity-related health issues -- more than it spends on treating cancer" (Keefe, 1/28).
Reuters: "Obama, who created a White House garden with local school children, said the solution to the obesity epidemic cannot come from government alone. Everyone has to be willing to do their part to end the public health crisis" (Allen, 1/28).
CQ HealthBeat: On Capitol Hill, Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, praised the surgeon general's report, saying it "provides a blueprint for Congress to follow" (Norman, 1/28). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.