Monday, March 01, 2010

Let's Move!: House and Senate Committees Hold Child Nutrition Hearings This Week

Livestreams for both hearings; witness lists after jump
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Rep. George Miller (D-CA) were among the lawmakers and Cabinet Secretaries invited to meet with First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House prior to the formal launch of Let's Move!, Mrs. Obama's campaign to end child obesity within a generation. Both Sen. Harkin and Rep. Miller are big supporters of Let's Move!, as well as of improving the food standards in the federal nutrition programs. This week, each lawmaker will lead a hearing on the topic. Among the various witnesses scheduled to testify are Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, a superstar NFL player, and the president of the School Nutrition Association.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 2, there will be a full committee hearing for the House Committee on Education & Labor, chaired by Rep. Miller. The hearing is “Improving Children’s Health: Strengthening Federal Nutrition Programs,” and the witness list has just been announced.

On the docket: Dora R. Rivas, president of the School Nutrition Association and Executive Director of Food and Child Nutrition Services, Dallas Independent School District, Dallas, Texas; Carolyn L. Morrison, President of the National Child and Adult Care Food Program Forum; Chief Executive Officer of Child Development Services, Inc., Gresham, Oregon; and Kiran Saluja, Deputy Director, Public Health Foundation Enterprises, Inc., Irwindale, California. Other witnesses may be added. (Photo at top: Sen. Harkin and Rep. Miller, both on Mrs. Obama's right, at the White House. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is on Mrs. Obama's left)

The hearing will livestream starting at 2:30 PM EST; go here to watch. Rep. Miller was among the lawmakers and Cabinet Secretaries invited to the White House to discuss Let's Move! with The Honorable Chair also has a very fun YouTube video about Mrs. Obama and White House apples; watch here.

On Thursday, March 4, the Surgeon General will testify before the Senate HELP Committee, chaired by Sen. Harkin, during an open committee meeting. The topic: “Childhood Obesity: Beginning the Dialogue on Reversing the Epidemic.” The Surgeon General and Mrs. Obama debuted "The Surgeon General's Vision For A Fit And Healthy America 2010" in January; read about their meeting with community leaders here. A White House video of Mrs. Obama speaking at the event is here.

Other witnesses scheduled to testify are Joe Thompson, MD, MPH, Director, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity, Little Rock, AR; and Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh Steelers Running Back, National Football League, Pittsburgh, PA.

The hearing will livestream at 10:00 AM EST; go here to watch.

The NFL is among the many professional sports leagues supporting Let's Move!; among other things, they are co-partnered with USDA and the White House for Fuel Up to Play 60, which encourages children to eat healthy foods and exercise sixty minutes a day.

Mrs. Obama is addressing the School Nutrition Association at their annual Legislative Action Conference this afternoon, in Washington.