Physical activity and movement are critical components to obesity prevention. Yet, the large majority or our children do not achieve the recommended 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity each day.
Cheese sticks. Grilled cheese. Cheese quesadillas. Pizza. Macaroni and cheese. Many toddlers I know eat cheese daily. Some eat cheese multiple times throughout the day. And parents think they're doing the right thing: getting enough calcium into their kids.
The first lady joked that some industry members may be waiting things out, figuring that "in a few years, this lady will be gone and this whole Let's Move thing will finally be over, so we can go back to business as usual." That's exactly what they are thinking.
What's become increasingly clear to me is how appreciative and excited students, parents and teachers are to have someone care enough to provide exercise equipment to help their kids get on the path to a healthy future.
If economics aspires to be a science -- "the dismal science" as it was traditionally called -- it must recognize that the most relevant economic data are human.
If I could change one thing alone, I would change this: Currently New York City Public School students have physical education twice a week.
Consumers living in L.A. County can still dine out, eat healthfully and have the option to purchase smaller portion sizes, which will offer fewer calories. Restaurants can increase revenue by selling healthier food options in smaller portions and help contribute to the health of its residents.
As a mom, pediatrician, integrative health expert and living healthy naturally M.D., I know that children can do this. They can beat the obesity crisis if we can create the right curriculum.
It's finally becoming normal to recognize that poor food choices lead to the current obesity epidemic and mushy-brain syndrome. Groups like Alliance for a Healthier Generation lead the movement on this and with great results to show for it.
You don't have to worry about getting our children to eat veggies, or more or less food. It's not your job to decide how much our children have to eat before they can "earn" dessert, or if you think they are too skinny or too fat. You don't have to keep track of any of it!
While fighting obesity is not easy, it can be done. By giving schools the tools, we can be assured of making great strides in battling this disease and the serious risks associated with it.
As parents, we need to be aware of how we talk about food and what others are eating in front of our children. We need to model kindness and not judgment, whether it's about eating not enough vegetables or too many vegetables.
Of course, it's the parents' responsibility to make sure their children are healthy. But it's also our nation's responsibility to make sure the environment we parent in doesn't make it difficult, and in some cases impossible, to do so.
Obesity is a cultural problem and requires a cultural solution we have the knowledge and means to administer. That we fail to apply those means bespeaks our ambivalence at best, our profit-driven hypocrisies at worst.
While I agree with the Sugar Association's Dr. Charles Baker in his recent blog that we should approach the obesity epidemic armed with knowledge, it appears the only thing the Sugar Association wants to do is exonerate its product and cast blame on other sweeteners.
The food landscape in America is bleak, but the landscape in your home is of your own design. Here are a few ways to lay the groundwork for healthy habits.