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Childhood obesity in New York: let's move campaign

Have you seen the video of president Obama and Vice President Biden running for the Let's Move Campaign initiated by First Lady Michelle Obama. It has become a viral video but it led this writer to look at what are our kids doing to stay fit? Are they staying fit?

The First lady participates in a Zumba class while promoting her Let's Move Campaign lunched four years ago in February.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The CDC, Centers for Disease Control, compile numbers on obesity and physical activity every year. A quick look at the numbers tell us that New York kids aren't moving much. In a report published in September of 2012 almost 16% of adolescents were considered overweight and 11% were considered to be obese.

As for activity the same report highlights the amount of time kids spend and don't spend moving. Twenty three percent of kids in New York reported they were active for at least 60 minutes a day. Only 15% attended physical education classes in school. The study looked at inactivity also with 17% of kids reporting no participation in physical activity. The amount of TV time was measured also and 32% reported they watched TV for more than three hours on a school day.

The outlook isn't all bad there is some encouraging data on nutrition in schools. The report highlighted that 38% of schools did not sell poor nutrition foods in and outside the cafeteria. Also 71% of schools prohibit the advertising of candy, fast food and soft drinks on school grounds.

If the data is accurate the nutrition piece is getting better, but nutrition isn't the only thing, kids have to move and be active to lose the weight they have or to remain fit. That brings us back to the video and campaign from First lady Michelle Obama.

The Let's Move campaign was launched in February 2010. The campaigns mission is as follows:

Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady, dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. Combining comprehensive strategies with common sense, Let's Move! is about putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years. Giving parents helpful information and fostering environments that support healthy choices. Providing healthier foods in our schools. Ensuring that every family has access to healthy, affordable food. And, helping kids become more physically active.

The Let's Move website is filled with tips to get a campaign started in your area. There are so many different options on the initiatives page, schools, childcare, museums, health care clinics and so many more. Each area is given a set of tips to start the campaign.

The NFL has a campaign of their own called Play 60. Our own Buffalo Bills participate in this every year. Voting for the Play 60 super school ended in December, but one local school wins each year and gets to host an event at their school. The Bills organization also puts on an event at the field house usually in the summer months for a Play 60 event, check in on the Bills Website for details on their Play 60 event.

Who's bigger than the Bills in Buffalo...the Sabers. That's right they have a let's move team. You can join the Buffalo Sabers Let's move team and get a water bottle. The details can be found here.

You don't have to be a professional sports team though to get involved. Doing simple things around the house can be considered moving. Have the kids walk the dog, vacuum, mow the lawn (when the snow is gone), anything that gets them up and moving. You can spend a few hours at Skyzone or Bounce Magic to get them up and moving. The key is to move, walk more drive less, eat healthy, and have fun doing. Are you ready to move?

©Melissa Linton, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior written permission and consent from the author or Clarity Digital Group LLC, DBA Partial reposting is allowed as long as a link back to the original article is provided. For consent, questions or comments email

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