We had a great meeting yesterday! We had teachers and child advocates, doctors and nurses, business leaders and public servants, researchers and health experts talking together about what we can do to solve the problem of childhood obesity. Cabinet officials – Education Secretary Duncan, Interior Secretary Salazar, and Office of Management and Budget Director Orszag – along with the Surgeon General and others talked about what this epidemic could cost us in the long run, how we can make our schools healthier, and how to get kids moving after school and in their communities. We then broke up into smaller groups so the participants could share their thoughts on the most important steps we can take together to combat childhood obesity. Here are some of their thoughts:
In the meantime, you were listening at home and weighing in on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We asked you to tell us your ideas to end childhood obesity within a generation and we heard from thousands of you. Here are some of the things we heard:
Our report detailing an action plan to solve this problem is due to the President in about a month. We’re going to take all this feedback and, together with all the expertise around the federal government, turn it into a roadmap for how we can move in the right direction together.
P.S. We’ve been reading through the thousands of written comments we got back from a few weeks ago and people sent in some great information. For instance, we heard from children in a 2nd grade class in California who plant their own fruits and vegetables, and then host a monthly harvest where they learn about the nutrients in these healthy foods and then get to snack away on them. Stay engaged – it’s stories like this that we all like to hear and that spark our imagination.
Melody Barnes is Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy