The Society for Nutrition Education (SNE) applauds the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These guidelines serve as the foundation of all federal nutrition policy and help guide consumer decisions about healthy eating and physical activity. "These guidelines are critical and set the stage for a host of policy, environmental, and consumer changes and improvements," says SNE President Tracy Fox, MPH, RD of Food, Nutrition & Policy Consultants (FNPC). "The guidelines provide the scientific evidence for nutrition educators to help translate the detailed information into consumer-oriented messages and creative approaches to help Americans - especially children - lead healthy lives. "SNE also would like to recognize the enormous task completed by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). This committee was established to advise the Secretaries of USDA and HHS and provide recommendations to update the Guidelines. "The DGAC worked tirelessly to recommend changes by all segments of society-from parents to policy makers and everyone in between-to take responsibility and play a leadership role in creating environments and policies that make the easy choice the healthy choice, to help current and future generations live healthy and productive lives," says Fox. "Nutrition educators are well-positioned to take these guidelines and turn them into fun, achievable goals for consumers, as well as advocate for policy and environmental changes at the community, state and federal levels." The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is available online.
On May 3rd, 2010 the Sacramento Bee published an article spotlighting the activities of the Team Davis program.
Members of Team Davis are participating in a pilot study which seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of Nutrition to Grow On for improving food choices and nutrition knowledge among children and adults with developmental, cognitive and/or physical disabilities. Participants are growing their own vegetables and learning about nutrition.
On February 9, 2009 First Lady Michelle Obama announced an ambitious national goal of solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight and unveiled a nationwide campaign – Let’s Move – to help achieve it.
The Let's Move campaign will combat the epidemic of childhood obesity through a comprehensive approach that builds on effective strategies, and mobilizes public and private sector resources. Let’s Move will engage every sector impacting the health of children to achieve the national goal, and will provide schools, families and communities simple tools to help kids be more active, eat better, and get healthy.
To support Let's Move and facilitate and coordinate partnerships with States, communities, and the non-profit and for-profit private sectors, the nation’s leading children’s health foundations have come together to create a new independent foundation – the Partnership for a Healthier America – which will accelerate existing efforts addressing childhood obesity and facilitate new commitments towards the national goal of solving childhood obesity within a generation.
Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. One third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives; many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma. A recent study put the health care costs of obesity-related diseases at $147 billion per year. This epidemic also impacts the nation’s security, as obesity is now one of the most common disqualifiers for military service.
“The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake,” said Mrs. Obama. “This isn’t the kind of problem that can be solved overnight, but with everyone working together, it can be solved. So, let’s move.”
Let's Move is comprehensive, collaborative, and community-oriented and will include strategies to address the various factors that lead to childhood obesity. It will foster collaboration among the leaders in government, medicine and science, business, education, athletics, community organizations and more. And it will take into account how life is really lived in communities across the country – encouraging, supporting and pursuing solutions that are tailored to children and families facing a wide range of challenges and life circumstances. Find out more by watching the Let's Move Kick Off online or by visiting the Let's Move web site (Outside Source).
Since Shriver’s involvement, the number of edible school gardens in California have doubled from 3,000 to 6,000
Building on her continuing commitment to the creation of edible school gardens as a learning experience for children and the important role of food, First Lady Maria Shriver will planted the first edible garden at the California State Capitol grounds in May, 2009. “WE Garden in Capitol Park” will serve as a way to educate and inspire Californians about the important lessons gardens teach students, children and people of all ages, lessons rooted in nutrition, healthy living, agriculture, science, history and service. Particularly, the WE Garden project will provide ample hands-on educational experiences for the hundreds of school children that visit the Capitol each year, through the creation of a series of ten individual lesson plans to provide for ongoing instruction.
“Over the years, I have seen how gardens have positively transformed students, schools and communities in California. Gardens are a wonderful resource, and I truly believe in the life lessons they teach and the lives they touch -- and that every school and community should have one. What we’re doing in California goes beyond symbolism, we are truly creating a comprehensive environment for learning all around this garden,” said First Lady Maria Shriver. “I’m so thrilled that since our announcement in March, California’s efforts have inspired other states to plan for and plant an edible garden in their capitol grounds.”
“We want Californians to be healthy, eat healthy and get fit. And this new garden is a step in that direction,” said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Children and visitors alike will now have a chance to learn about California’s agricultural legacy and what makes our crops and our food the very best in the world.”
“Edible gardens provide a productive food source for our communities as well as a fantastic learning opportunity,” said A.G. Kawamura, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. “Visitors to the Capitol will now see the edible garden and go home with the idea of how a family garden can nourish their daily lives.”
Since it was first announced in March, planning for the Capitol Park garden project has been underway and includes the following components:
For more information on First Lady Maria Shriver’s WE Garden Initiative visit: www.firstlady.ca.gov.
Some of Maria Shriver’s most notable actions to further California’s commitment to sustainable edible gardens and in promoting healthy living include: