Monday, December 5, 2011

Preventing Childhood Obesity – My Plate

MyPlate is a new resource from the Let’s Move Campaign and the USDA. The tool is intended to help simplify making healthy eating choices. The icon, built off of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for all Americans can also be used to consider the nutritional needs of specific audiences such as pregnant and nursing mothers, preschoolers, children and those who are interested in healthy ways to loose weight. MyPlate also includes resources to learn more about healthy foods, ways to eat healthy on a budget and resources in Spanish, among others.

Tools like MyPlate and the efforts around the Let’s Move Campaign are important in light of the significant research around health in the United States. The Trust for America’s Health Report, F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future, 2011 states that, two-thirds of adults and nearly one-third of children and teens are currently obese or overweight, putting them at increased risk for more than 20 major diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It’s not just our health that is suffering however; it is also impacting our economy. The report goes on to state that obesity-related medical costs and a less productive workforce are hampering America’s ability to compete in the global economy.

For state policy strategies to prevent childhood obesity, visit PolicyforResults,org.