The obesity epidemic seems to be attracting more interest than ever in our nation’s capital. Considering the burden that obesity places on our healthcare system and, ultimately, our ballooning deficit, there is a dire need for us to continue attacking this problem.
We made two trips to Washington, DC, in December and January to meet with leaders of two important groups working toward eliminating obesity: the Let’s Move campaign and the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA).
In early February, Let’s Move, the nationwide initiative to combat childhood obesity through increased physical activity and better nutrition, celebrated its 1-year anniversary. Driven by First Lady Michelle Obama, the campaign is working toward engaging an alliance of schools, families, community leaders and health professionals to provide our nation’s youth with healthier choices.
IDEA supports this very important initiative and will be looking for more ways to collaborate with the various groups (including the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the United States Tennis Association, 24 Hour Fitness®, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, the American Council on Exercise and Under Armour®, among others) involved in striving to realize the ambitious goal of eradicating childhood obesity within a generation.
For more information on Let’s Move! visit www.letsmove.gov.
Similarly, NCPPA is providing central direction for implementing a national plan of action. The plan addresses environmental and policy issues that affect how and why Americans are not moving, and aims to unite professionals across sectors in a massive effort to pool resources and solve the problem.
Initiated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2008 after the release of national Physical Activity Guidelines, the plan has secured an unprecedented level of cooperation across eight sectors: public health; education; health care; business and industry; parks, recreation, fitness and sports; media; transportation and community planning; and nonprofit groups.
NCPPA leadership, which convenes as the “Make the Move Council,” spearheads the cooperative force of national organizations leading the implementation strategies. IDEA has been invited to sit on this council. The leadership group also publishes the “Make the Move Implementation Report,” which states measurable actions that can be taken to implement the national-plan strategies; leads a national-cause marketing campaign to send a unifying message to align action; and defines federal policy priorities with advocacy strategies to advance policies to improve physical activity levels.
Programs being developed within the national plan cover the following priorities:
- schools, afterschool programs, early childcare
- parks, recreation, fitness and sports
- neighborhoods and transportation
- health care
- public health
- media and marketing
The NCCPA has urged selective leaders, such as IDEA, to “Make Your Move.” We are doing just that by studying the implementation report and outlining ways to align our existing efforts and/or future plans for improving physical activity with those of the national plan.
You can read more about this by going to www.ncppa.org and clicking on the “National PA Plan” button. Please share any ideas you have about this with us.
We will keep you apprised of developments as our involvement with both groups matures.
In the meantime, keep inspiring!
In good health,
Kathie and Peter Davis