In New York City on Monday at the Clinton Global Initiative, Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass unveiled a new report in support of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign. The theme of CGI this year is "Designing for Impact," and the report, Designed to Move, is "A Physical Activity Action Agenda" to combat childhood obesity. The report says there is a deadly and "widespread physical inactivity epidemic" around the world, and lays out a framework to engage young children in sports and fitness activities to combat obesity-related disease, extend lifespans, and reduce massive public health expenditures.
The new report warns that physically inactive parents transmit sedentary lifestyles to their children like a contagious disease, and calls for a massive cross-spectrum approach to change, from nations and global governing bodies to individuals and communities. It argues that engaging children in the first ten years of life is crucial, and says that active children are likely to "stay that way." The report includes a cost-benefit analysis that projects the global financial impact of a sedentary generation. Download the report here [PDF].
"Physical inactivity is now an epidemic and we must act urgently to break its deadly cycle," notes the report. "No single organization or institution can fix this alone. It will take global, national, state and local governing bodies, and their leaders, corporations and their employees, civil society, individuals and communities. All of us need to be part of the solution."
From "crisis" to "epidemic"...
In November of 2011, Mrs. Obama described a "crisis of inactivity" in America's children as she gave the keynote address at Partnership for a Healthier America's inaugural "Building a Healthier Future Summit." PHA is the the foundation that monitors private-sector commitments to the Let's Move! campaign.
"The fact is that, today, we may well be raising the most sedentary generation of kids in the history of this country," Mrs. Obama said. "We as a society need to redefine for kids what play is."
The report was created with the support of PHA; President Bill Clinton's Alliance for a Healthier Generation; Nike; The National football League; The Brazil Ministry of Sport, among others.
Visit DesignedtoMove.org for more information, and LetsMove.gov for information about the national campaign.
Click here for webcasts and more information from CGI 2012.
*Photo by Eddie Gehman Kohan/Obamafoodorama