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News Release

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

HHS Teams Up with Olympic Athletes to Fight Childhood Obesity

Today the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the first in a series of web videos and public service announcements to promote First Lady Michelle Obama’s national initiative, Let’s Move, to solve childhood obesity within a generation.  Childhood obesity and excess weight threatens the healthy future of one third of American children. 

As a member of the U.S. Presidential Delegation for the XXI Olympic Winter Games, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius attended the closing ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. While in Vancouver, Sebelius enlisted the help of more than a dozen Olympic athletes to combat the challenge of childhood obesity by providing the American public with tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  In the videos, current and former Olympians urge parents and kids to incorporate physical activity and nutritious foods into everyday life.

The new web videos, featured on, remind Americans that you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to be active, eat right, and maintain a healthy weight. The web videos include messages from two-time Olympic medalist figure skater Michelle Kwan, 2010 skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace, and 2010 Olympic snowboarder Louie Vito.

“America’s Olympians are some of the finest athletes in the world and our country’s best spokespeople on being physically active,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “We are pleased that these inspiring Olympians are joining the First Lady’s Let’s Move effort to tackle this health epidemic.  They can help teach kids that eating right and exercising regularly is the way to get moving towards a healthier life.”   

Right now, one in three American children are overweight or obese. Each year, the United States spends an estimated $147 billion to treat obesity-related conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. Research indicates that if we do not address this public health crisis, that this could be the first generation of children to have a shorter lifespan than their parents.

To address this issue, on February 9, First Lady Michelle Obama announced the Let’s Move national campaign. This new effort seeks to harness the resources of both the private and public sectors to give parents the support they need, provide healthier food in schools, help our kids to be more physically active, and make healthy, affordable food available in every part of our country.

Later this month, HHS will release the new Let’s Move public service announcements featuring former and current Olympians. 

To view the videos and learn more, visit


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Last revised: January 03, 2011