By RENEE RICEVUTO, age 10
Mentored by SAMANTHA HENIG
Today, kids in America are facing the epidemic of being overweight, also known as obesity. Obesity can cause heart disease, diabetes, stroke and low self-esteem. Some kids don’t have a choice. Since fresh food costs more than junk food, poorer children might not be able to afford a healthy diet. If the lunch their school or parents provide is junky, so is their diet.
Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative aims to change that. This program encourages kids to exercise, eat right, make dinner, drink plenty of water and break up TV time with jumping jacks.
It’s hard to say exactly where obesity rates are going, as different studies prove different trends. A study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) found obesity rates between two and five-year-olds were going down. Nevertheless, a later study published by JAMA Pediatrics proved that the rates were constant between two and 19-year-olds.
“Now is the time to fight even harder … We know that our strategies are beginning to work.” That’s what Michelle Obama said at a health summit in Washington in March 2014, responding to the study finding that obesity rates were going down.
Obama has her critics. Some kids blame her for the loss of tater-tots, as was reported in The Wire.
So, is “Let’s Move” working? It’s too early to say. At the launch of “Let’s Move,” Obama stated that she aimed to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation. Until the kids today have children of their own, the answer will remain a mystery.