The Federal Politicians

By Kendrik Lacsa, Mickey Uyematsu, Jessa Bartolome, Flynn Wagner

1. What is Michelle Obama's stance on obesity in America? What is she doing about it?
2. What can the executive branch do to help?
3. Does congress have a stance on the obesity epidemic? Has it done anything?
4. What are other government groups, such as the CDC, suggesting or doing?

What is Michelle Obama's stance on Obesity in America? What is she doing about it?

By: Kendrik Lacsa

Michelle Obama’s campaign against obesity
America is one of the richest and most progressive countries in the world. Unfortunately, it is also one of the unhealthiest countries. Second only to Mexico, many Americans are suffering from obesity. Due to poor diets and lack of exercise, about 2/3 of American adults and about one out of every five American children and adolescents are obese. The country spends over $150 billion per year into treating obesity-related diseases, mostly all of which are preventable. The nation’s weight problem is not only a economic issue, it has pervaded into our security as well. In fact obesity now one of the most common disqualifiers of military service.

Michelle Obama’s reasoning for ‘Let’s move!’
How are we supposed to combat this growing epidemic? First Lady Michelle Obama has planned a grand reshaping the American diet and exercise habits of children with the ambitious goal of eliminating childhood obesity all together. “This isn’t like putting a man on the moon or inventing the Internet. It doesn’t take a stroke of genius or a feat of technology. We have everything we need right now to help our children lead healthy lives.’’

Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s move! campaign’
In order to achieve that goal, Michelle Obama has initiated the “Lets Move” program which calls for a myriad set of goals to combat obesity: Getting parents more informed about nutrition and exercise, improving the quality of food in schools, making healthy foods more affordable and accessible for families, and focusing more on physical education. In conjunction with the “Lets Move” program, the White House has secured cooperation with food industries, who have pledged to reduce the sugar content in school lunches, and beverage companies to clearly label their products. In a sign that the first lady has the entire administration behind her, President Obama began his day by signing an executive order to encourage what he called ‘’optimal coordination’’ between federal agencies and departments, among them the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Labor and Health and Human Services.
"There's no expert on this planet who says that the government telling people what to do actually does any good with this issue, This is going to require an effort on everyone's part."- Michelle Obama

What can the executive branch do to help?

By: Mickey Uyematsu
Obesity is a problem that lots of Americans face today and the government is doing as much as it can to stop the growing problem. The main problems that need to be focused on are nutrition and exercise. Eating the right way is something we as Americans have a problem with, and implementing a national food financing initiative would be a good idea to help expand healthy food options to the population of America . Placing nutrional guidelines in our schools would be a smart idea since childhood obesity is a huge problem and they are the future of America . Physical activity is something that isn’t done very often in the United States because of video games. Schools should increase the amount of time for physical activities like increase lunch time or make physical education classes mandatory for all grades.

The cost of health care is going up because of obesity. Americans spend $51.5 to $78.5 billion per year on obesity directly and indirectly. Public park and community centers can be a good source of exercise to help stop obesity by offering community sports and other types of physical activities. The CDC helps by advertising to children with media outlets and community events to get some physical activity. Federal policymakers have also made progress toward helping to provide healthy choices for Americans. Nutrition resources provided by the federal government include the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the newly revised Food Guide pie chart

The General Surgeon said that the cause of childhood obesity is “fairly straightforward,” noting that “it’s a combination of our young people not getting enough physical activity and then not eating right.” (Vinluan) A big barrier to getting physical activity is that the typical American child spends, on average, six hours a day in front of a television or computer. Starting out as an overweight child creates an infintely higher possibility that the person will be overweight as an adult, Galson said, noting that about 80 percent of kids who are overweight at the age of eight to 10 will still be overweight at 25 and beyond.

Does congress have a stance on the obesity epidemic? Has it done anything?

By: Jessa Bartolome

The War On Obesity: Flexing Political Muscle
The Physical Education for Progress (PEP) bill was introduced on May 27, 2000 by U.S. Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, along with eight of his colleagues. This bill intends to grant contracts to local educational agencies to permit them to "initiate, expand and improve physical education programs for all kindergarten through 12th grade students." Sen. Jeffords, who was initially against this bill, has given his consent. He heads the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee in the Senate. The PEP Act is anticipating more co-sponsors' signatures from the committee. When fifty-one senators support the bill, it should leave the committee and appear onto the Senate floor for a debate, and then be set for voting from the Senate.

Analysis: U.S. politicians may unite in obesity battle
Bipartisanship in Washingtonis sometimes difficult to attain, but there is one concern that everyone can see eye to eye on—the childhood obesity epidemic. Both the Obama administration and several members from Congress give their consent that action is undeniably required. In the Senate, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is initiating to confer what Congress will do. Several institutions, along with Oakland’s Children Now advocacy group, hope that Congress will bestow regulators the authority to cut down on junk food commercials. Ted Lampert, the president of the group, called the advertisements “a huge contributor to the epidemic.”

Campaign to End Obesity
The Campaign to End Obesity awarded five exceptional Members of Congress whose efforts have been influential in declining the obesity crisis. Leaders from the business, academia, and health care field assembled to grant these key members in food and nutrition, health care, and education policies during its third yearly “Breakfast with Champions.” In addition, this event persuaded their colleagues to adopt necessary reforms that will undo one ofAmerica’s most catastrophic medical disputes.

What are other government groups, such as the CDC, doing to help?

By: Flynn Wagner

The CDC's report on childhood obesity:
The CDC is helping, along with president Obama and his wife to prevent obesity in all children up to the age of 18. Their first recommended tip from their latest survey is the need to cut back on national consumption of sugary drinks, such as soda. On average a teenager will take in 300 calories per day from these sodas, which have no nutritional value at all. Espoused directly under this point, the need for less time in front of the television, a general need for parents to take a more active stance in raising their child, and overall the lack of parental involvement, and the disappearance of the sort of firm parenting that kept obesity in check in previous times. They highly recommend establishing a strong tradition of keeping the family together and trying to spend as much time together as possible in order to reduce the number of obese people in America.

The CDC’s Community Suggestions
2/3rds of the U.S. adult population is now overweight. 1/5th of all children are as well. The 2009 study and problem solving results they published advise 26 solutions to the obesity epidemic. The start of the list says that in public service venues both the quality and availability of healthy food needs to increase, which they feel would be a helpful first step into paving the way to a healthier future. Later in the list they also suggested reducing the amount of unhealthy food inside of public service venues, as well as the portions being reduced. They backed these results up with studies that proved upon price reduction of healthy foods in school cafeterias sales promptly shot up, as more low income families bought them instead of unhealthier food. Tying into this is the thoughts that health food stores should be given some incentive to move into underserved areas that need it. Large portions of the middle of the suggested courses of action were addressed to the concerns of P.E. in American schools and extracurricular fitness. The CDC sees it as being helpful if P.E. was increased and extra venues were added for fitness. Their last few suggestions included helping increase safety and ability to walk around locally, to school, the market, and other such venues. The CDC’s findings seemed very logical and it should be acted upon when possible.

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Physical CDC response
The CDC has worked since 2010 in a new program designed to combat obesity through funded partnerships to establish healthy eating and exercise habits. Working in 25 states they are currently trying to; “Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, increase physical activity, increase breastfeeding initiation duration and exclusivity, decrease consumption of sugary drinks, and reduce intake of foods high in calories.” (CDC obesity at a glance) They also said that there needs to be a reduction in the ethnic gap in varying levels of obesity. While working at this, they made states create a comprehensive plan for combating obesity and training others to hopefully continue the program after funding for the plan runs out.

In summary: The CDC has established clear and workable guidelines to stop and reverse the epidemic of obesity sweeping the nation. The only thing remaining for us to do is act upon their very solid advice. With numbers as startling as 2 out of every 3 Americans being overweight it’s a wonder that more of us aren’t listening. All their goals are completely obtainable, and should have been done a long time ago. Many parents must be spending more time with their children, because we can no longer accept a rate of 1 out of every 5 children in our country being overweight. The CDC is trying as best it can, but obviously it isn’t the best funded of all government groups however much it should be. It is my firm belief that they should be listened to however, and their outlines must be followed if we are to continue to succeed as a country.


As it stands, obesity must be confronted and routed. However, the main part of the battle against it will not be fought by the federal government, though it will be happy to help as best it can. The government is in a position to provide as many guidelines, suggestions, and programs as Americans need but it cannot and will not force the U.S. population to change. Michelle Obama's 'Lets Move!' program is clearly a step in the right direction, but there needs to be more. More parents need to get involved in donations to their school's P.E. branches. More parents need to be helping their children learn healthy choices and lifestyles. More parents must take charge and acknowledge that no matter how much they don't like it, change will have to be enforced by them. The CDC has found conclusivly in all of their studies and research that parents are the key factor in shaping life-long habits for healthier kids and healthier generations that follow. Unless sweeping changes are made, the massive quantity of overweight people will damage our health care system beyond repair with costs and time consumed unless we choose the inhumane route and simply leave them to rot. Since morally that is unacceptable, this leaves but a single recourse. The federal government will help for as long and as much as it can, but the citizens of the United States must assume direct control and pave the way to a better future.


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