Those enviable upper arms are at it again.
Hoping to extend the reach of her three-year-old Let’s Move! campaign, Michelle Obama today made a pitch for kids to be more active at school. The First Lady’s new initiative, Let’s Move Active Schools, is partnering with 9 organizations — including one based at Tufts — to help combat childhood obesity by instituting a range of creative, accessible programs for kids to get more exercise through fun, school-based activities.
The Huffington Post covered Ms. Obama’s announcement this morning: “With each passing year, schools feel like it’s just getting harder to find the time, the money and the will to help our kids be active. But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean we should stop trying,” the first lady said in her prepared remarks. “It means we should try harder. It means that all of us – not just educators, but businesses and nonprofits and ordinary citizens – we all need to dig deeper and start getting even more creative.”
Christina D. Economos, PhD, is Associate Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and a leading researcher in the field of childhood obesity prevention. She’s also Vice-Chair and Director of ChildObesity180, a nonprofit based at Tufts that is working with the First Lady and supports a variety of strategies to help kids become healthier through improved nutrition and physical activity.
Piggy-backing on Ms. Obama’s news, ChildObesity180′s program, the Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP), made its own announcement today: the group will award grants totaling $1 million to 1,000 schools to launch one of three award-winning physical activity programs. Each of the three plans — one started by a bunch of moms in Natick, another called the 100-Mile Club and a third that supports short bursts of activity in urban classrooms — are fun for kids, accessible and have shown both physical and behavioral benefits, like better concentration in class, Economos said. Continue reading