July 25 2012
Government Party Crashers
Vicki E. Alger
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.
"Let's Move," Michelle Obama's food-and-fitness project, is going local -- because childhood obesity is a problem "that can't be solved just at the national level," Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said.
The first lady and Sebelius on Wednesday announced the "next chapter" of "Let's Move," which calls on local officials in the nation's cities, towns and counties to "focus on improving the health of their communities."
Among other things, the administration wants local elected leaders to "commit to increasing participation in the School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch program."
The administration also wants local leaders to create more play areas for children, and with that goal in mind, Sebelius announced that the BlueCross BlueShield Association has agreed to pitch in by funding city street closings.
These so-called “play streets” allow children and their families to run, walk, bike or play outside without worrying about traffic. Sebelius said the BlueCross BlueShield Association has agreed to fund Play Street scholarships in 10 cities and towns across the country between now and October 2013 to create at least four Play Streets in each city or town.
Why do families and communities need the federal government to force—I mean recommend—street closures and more subsidized food? We are perfectly capable of packing picnics that fit our budgets and tastes, then walking to the neighborhood park or playground. Do we really need the federal government crashing our summer fun?