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Secretary’s Column: Continuing the Fight Against Childhood Obesity

Ensuring the health and well-being of our nation’s children is a top priority for President Obama, and for all of us at USDA. We have focused in recent years on expanding access, affordability and availability of healthy foods for families and children.

Recently, we learned of some promising new results in the fight against obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the rate of obesity among young, low-income children appears to be declining. In 19 states, the obesity rate among low-income preschoolers has dropped for the first time in decades – and in many other states the obesity rate has leveled off.

This is encouraging for us at USDA, because we have made special efforts to help low-income families expand their access to healthier foods. In particular, we’ve provided healthier choices through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children – the WIC program – while helping parents learn more about healthy nutrition.

We have helped expand local markets around the country – with more than 8,100 farmers markets around the country today – and in the last two years we’ve doubled the number of these markets that accept SNAP and WIC benefits.

We’re also increasing access to fresh produce during the school day. USDA has provided grants to help schools in low-income areas provide fruits and vegetables to children – and USDA Farm to School programs in nearly every state are helping school districts buy locally-produced food for school meals.

Unfortunately, some of these efforts cannot continue unless Congress passes a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill this year.

We still face a challenge in the coming years, with one in eight preschoolers overweight or obese today. This has troubling implications for the health of our nation, our economy and our national security in years to come.

The fight against childhood obesity is winnable, but we can’t let up.  We must continue efforts that have already helped millions of parents and children with better access to healthy foods. We can create a generational shift to improve childhood nutrition and together, we can build on the promising results we’ve seen so far.

For an audio version of this column, click here.

3 Responses to “Secretary’s Column: Continuing the Fight Against Childhood Obesity”

  1. kathleen koblensky says:

    ARE WE SLAVES TO YOU?? ANSWER THIS ….I AM SOVEREIGN I NEED NO PERMISSION FROM ANYONE TO GROW…SO…IN A LOW SERIOUS VOICE….WE WILL CALL OUR MILITARY BROTHERS TO OUR SIDES TO PROTECT OUR GARDENS….YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO TOUCH ANYONE’S PERSONAL GARDENS….STAY OUT OF OUR YARDS…STAY OUT OF SOUTH DAKOTA…YOUR JOBS ARE LIMITED TO MASS PRODUCTION…OR LARGE SCALE OUT OF BALANCE FARMING AND USE OF POISONOUS SEED AND POISON APPLICATION….THAT IS IT…THE PEOPLE ARE TAKING BACK THE POWER….GOOD BYE

  2. I’m really concerned about the urban school system means&way here in nj,Essex county area. I read these blogs, &I’m jus into a good research to help my community where my kids partake in. We live in the garden state,&I just can’t tell from reading many blogs,any assistance in the urban area. When I loss my job,I had no assistance from my state welfare,that woke me up! Imma find out what really happens to taxpayers monies,cuz when I’m down &out,as a able body worker,I go through hell,tryna stand on my feet&can’t afford to eat healthy. I encourage people to stand up! I wanna encourage the teachers to teach economics,budget,tax,credit cards,& more importantly, show these students@an early age to produce, produce,in there own backyard. Amongst all my hardships, thatz what I plan to do,as a priority, because I became malnutritioned to the point of no nutriment2nourish my brain,2think rationally 2rise out of adversity, depression,& deprival. My Governor, is@government to stagnate growth in which I believe, that they believe,is what keeps the world goin round. But education is the key,&this world has suffice land&resource for all.

  3. Cypherpunk says:

    Dear Kathleen, you appear to be suffering from TMCS, Too Much Capitalization Syndrome. This is actually a symptom of much deeper emotional issues such as fear of not being heard and possibly paranoia. Additionally, you may also have problems with reading comprehension since your comment had nothing whatsoever to do with this blog post. Please seek help from a qualified mental health practitioner as well as a remedial reading instructor as quickly as possible.

    Best wishes
    Your friend and fellow citizen
    Cypherpunk

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