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Friday, January 22, 2010

Michelle Obama Touts Wellness at Mayors' Conference

In the past year, Michelle Obama has chosen health and wellness--and especially the fight against childhood obesity--as her signature issue. We blogged last summer about the White House vegetable garden, which served as a symbol of the First Lady's commitment to healthy eating.

Mrs. Obama spoke at the U.S. Conference of Mayors last Wednesday, and her focus was the looming threat of childhood obesity. The Washington Post reported on the conference. The article repeats grim statistics we've all heard, but they bear repeating:
One in three children in this country is either overweight or obese. One-third of all children today will eventually suffer from diabetes. And a recent study found that obesity could be an even greater threat to the nation's health than smoking.
Michelle Obama announced that a new initiative to fight childhood obesity will be unveiled in early February. The goal is to form a partnership between federal and local governments, as well as nonprofit organizations.

I highly recommend that you read the entire Post article, but I do want to highlight a few of the ideas that cities have adopted to fight obesity. Any of these could easily be adapted to a corporate setting:
  • Giving pedometers to students so they could count their steps
  • Putting city bike paths and trail maps online
  • Bringing farmers' markets into needy neighborhoods
  • Challenging city residents to lose a million pounds
What has your business done lately to promote wellness? Let me know in the comments section below.

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