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Let's Move Task Force report: "No one gets off the hook."

Moments ago, First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled a groundbreaking report from the inter-agency White House Task Force on Child Obesity--what Mrs. Obama called "a very important road map" for her Let's Move! campaign, containing goals, benchmarks and outcomes that will help better the health of America's children. Prevention Institute, along with our colleagues and partners, submitted recommendations to the task force and applauds the report for its landmark recognition that we all have a role to play in building health--and for including agencies from the Department of Housing to the FTC in their efforts. In particular, the report emphasizes that:

  • Community prevention is fundamental. Real health requires community solutions, not just changing the behavior of individuals or families. The task force report recognizes the need to move beyond the doctor's office and look at how the places we live, work, eat and play shape our access to healthy eating and active living opportunities.
  • Safety is inextricably linked to chronic disease. Mrs. Obama plans to increase safe walking to schools by 50% in five years. The impact of violence in communities is far-reaching: when people don't feel safe in their communities, they are less likely to use local parks, access public transportation or let their children walk to school or play outside. Our Urban Agenda to Preventing Violence, and pioneering report "Addressing the Intersection: Preventing Violence and Promoting Healthy Eating and Active Living," to be released tomorrow, lay out the case to support the First Lady.
  • Success demands cross-sector collaboration. Mrs. Obama said today, "No one gets off the hook," from government and corporations to the family table. The White House's "multi-faceted approach" recognizes--perhaps for the first time ever at a federal level-- the need for broad structural changes from virtually every corner of the government. Recommendations include limiting food advertising, looking at food systems and production, and dismantling barriers in the built environment such as lack of pathways to schools.
  • Equity is essential to health. Challenges faced by low-income families were recognized and incorporated into virtually every strategy, including improving access to school and summer meals, elimination of food deserts in seven years, and attention to food affordability. For an overview of strategies that work, read our just-released Recipes for Change.

Prevention Institute thanks the Interagency Taskforce for the bold ideas set forth in the report, and for the leadership of its members, including Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan, Office of Health Reform Director Nancy-Ann DeParle, Small Business Administrator Karen G. Mills, and Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz. Read the full report and recommendations here.