Outdoor Time for Kids Can Help First Lady Achieve Her “Let’s Move” Goal

Time unplugged and playing outside in nature should be an integral part of the First Lady’s initiative

02-09-2010 // Amanda Cooke

American kids aren’t getting enough exercise or time outdoors. The childhood obesity epidemic has become so rampant that even the First Lady Michelle Obama took note, and is now taking action.

On February 9, First Lady Obama launched a major campaign to address this health issue, a risk factor for a number of chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and sleep apnea. Visit www.letsmove.gov to learn more about the First Lady’s childhood obesity taskforce.

Our nation’s leaders, including Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, can reach their health goals for the country by urging families to spend more time unplugged and outside.

NWF, more than 200 national partners, and 16,300 Americans recently urged Surgeon General Benjamin to make time outdoors a health priority for children. The new citizen’s petition and letter of support to Dr. Regina Benjamin recommend a “Call to Action” to promote the health benefits of children who engage in regular unstructured outdoor play in their backyards, at local parks, or any green space that offers the opportunity to connect with nature. A copy of the letter and petition are available at www.BeOutThere.org.

The health cost of obesity in the United States could be as high as $147 billion annually, according to a study from the Research Triangle Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The cost of active family time spent outdoors? Zilch. Or perhaps priceless, when it comes to matters of your health.  

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