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February marks another milestone in the movement for a healthier generation - the 3rd year anniversary of the Let's Move! campaign. This month, Be Active Your Way bloggers will reflect on work that has been done to combat childhood obesity, as well as the road ahead.

To celebrate the Anniversary of Let's Move!, you'll hear from:

Let's Move! Milestones & Collaborations: 2012 in Review

by ODPHP February 13, 2013

Originally posted on the Let's Move! blog, in honor of the 3rd year anniversary of the Let's Move! campaign

Since early 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative has been an important driver of childhood obesity prevention efforts across the nation. Through Let's Move!, leaders in business, health care, community, and government have joined educators, childcare providers, faith leaders, chefs and many others to have a meaningful, positive impact on the health of our nation's youth. This month, Let's Move! highlighted their accomplishments from the past three years on their blog.

Here's a snapshot of some Let's Move! milestones and collaborations from the past 12 months:

  • Disney announced that it will require all food and beverage products advertised, sponsored, or promoted on various Disney-owned media channels and online destinations and theme parks to meet nutritional guidelines that align with federal standards to promote fruit and vegetables and limit calories, sugar, sodium, and saturated fat by 2015.
  • In support of Team USA at the 2012 Olympic Games, the US Olympic Committee and several of its national governing bodies provided beginner athletic programming for free or low cost to more than 1.7 million kids in 2012.
  • The Department of Defense (DOD) announced dramatic improvements to nutrition standards for the $4.65 billion worth of food purchased every year for our troops and their families. For the first time in 20 years, DOD is updating their nutritional standards to include more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products with every meal.
  • The First Lady celebrated a series of new collaborations to supports Let's Move! Cities, Towns and Counties. Organizations such as the National League of Cities and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation committed new resources to help hundreds of local elected officials advance the goals of Let's Move! in their communities. More than 150 local elected officials have committed to the goals of the initiative.
  • Throught the PHA "Play Streets," the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association funded street-closings to increase safe places for families to play. These areas are called "Play Streets" - city streets where kids and families can run, walk, bike, or play outside freely without traffic. In 2013, at least four Play Streets per city/town in 10 cities and towns across the country will be funded.
  • In August 2012, the First Lady hosted the first-ever Kids' State Dinner celebrating healthy lunchtime recipes created by kids. The First Lady, along with Epicurious, USDA, and the Department of Education, welcomed 54 young chefs from all 50 states and U.S. territories to a luncheon at the White House serving some of those healthy creations.
  • The President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition updated the President's Challenge Youth Fitness Test to reflect the latest science on kids' health and promote active, healthy lifestyles rather than athletic performance and competition. The new Presidential Youth Fitness Program is a voluntary, school-based program that assesses students' fitness-based health and helps them progress over time. The new program will be implemented in 25 percent of US schools by the end of 2013, and 90 percent of US schools by 2018.
  • The Partnership for a Healthier America teamed up with 157 hospitals to deliver more healthy options throughout their facilities. These hospitals have committed to work over the next three years to improve the nutrition of patient meals as well as that of the food options in on-site cafeterias. This includes more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-calorie options, and healthy beverages.

To learn more about Let's Move!, visit

Physical Activity Guidelines Midcourse Report

As we look forward to another year of robust partnerships and efforts to improve the health of America's children, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, in partnership with the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, is happy to announce the upcoming release of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report: Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth. This report, to be released on March 8, 2013 at the Partnership for a Healthier America Summit, highlights evidence-based intervention strategies for increasing physical activity throughout various sectors of society.

Learn more by visiting

Building Healthy Communities

by ACSM July 25, 2012

On any given day you can open your Internet browser to search for a new study ranking the fittest cities, best places to live, healthiest cities in the world, and so on. These studies demonstrate it is possible to build a healthy community despite political, environmental or economic challenges. This is consistent with the ActivEarth philosophy, which highlights the environmental benefits of human physical activity and encourages people to live their lives in more sustainable ways.

One particularly useful ranking is our American Fitness Index (AFI). The AFI provides an evidence- and science-based measurement of the state of health and fitness at the community level. Organizations, communities, and individuals throughout the country use the AFI data and analysis to assess factors that contribute to health and fitness, and measure their progress toward achieving them.

In addition to the data report, AFI now offers a Technical Assistance Program to help selected cities identify opportunities to improve the health of their residents and expand community assets to better support active, healthy lifestyles. It is a tool to help government, community leaders, health promotion groups and individuals create a healthier environment.

So what can you do to build a healthier community?

You don't have to be part of the AFI Technical Assistance Program to help nudge your town toward better health. One effective strategy - amplified when more residents participate - is to support bsuinesses that make your community healthier. For example:

  • Farmers markets offer fresh produce from nearby growers. This provides you with healthy foods to eat, and economically supports local suppliers.
  • Local businesses can partner with health initiatives and health/wellness retailers to encourage workers to lead healthier lifestyles.
  • National companies often support community-based programs as a way of strengthening local ties. Approach them as an interested customer. Perhaps you can partner with them as a local business owner.

Encourage community leaders to create a built environment that's conducive to healthy lifestyles:

  • Write to your mayor or city department to urge continued development of sidewalks, greenways, bike lanes and hiking trails.
  • Support the development of pocket parks where they are most needed.
  • Call for school facilities to be available after-hours for community recreation.

Singling out a notable program

One notable program, recently recognized by the Let's Move! Communities on the on the Move video challenge is "100 Citizens: Role Models for the Future." 100 Citizens is a program of the City of San Fernando Partnership for Healthy Families; its proponents believe that ending childhood obesity begins with the family. Families receive advice and guidance about beginning exercise programs. The strategy is to drive public health awareness and implementation at public parks through participation in programs delivered by students and professionals trained in kinesiology.

Whatever route you choose, good luck with your efforts to make your community a little healthier. Let us know what you're doing.

Intergenerational Programming: 10 Ideas for Family Fun

by ICAA March 28, 2012

Let's Move! provides the ideal opportunity to attract grandparents and grandchildren into your health or wellness center or program by providing participants with shared experiences and multidimensional health benefits, depending on the programs offered. To embrace this opportunity, you may want to incorporate the intergenerational activities below into your programming, or use them as a springboard for other ideas.

1. Walking the World

Start this walking program by describing the reasons why walking is good for health and how to make walking workouts enjoyable. Create an adventure for grandparents and grandchildren by making the goal to circle the globe. Ask participants to count their steps with pedometers and to write down their results. Pin a map on the wall to track progress, and count each step towards mileage. Recognize efforts by enrolling grandparents and grandchildren in the President's Challenge.

2. Family Album

Invite grandparents to bring photographs from the family album. Encourage them to use these images to talk about the past, allowing grandchildren to ask questions and discover more about their grandparents. Introduce an extra level to this program by suggesting that grandparents help grandchildren begin a photo album of their own.

3. Scavenger Hunt

Create a list of small things for grandparents and grandchildren to search for on a walk. Include items appropriate to your environment, e.g. a paper clip, a leaf, a white stone. Count the number of scavenged items each pair has at the end of the walk. Let the pair with the most things choose the next adventure.

4. Book-lovers Club

Ask grandparents and grandchildren to read books together, with the goal of discussing them at monthly Book Lovers meetings. Encourage participants to discuss the books they've read with other members of the club. Prepare for an enthusiastic exchange between book lovers, young and old.

5. Group Exercise

Make group exercise opportunities for the whole family. Offer classes in tai chi, swimming, yoga or group fitness, for example. Give dance classes for families. Come up with dances and name them after families participating in the program. Consider having family nights a few times a week.

6. Life Stage

Start a theater group to offer creative fun for grandparents and grandchildren. Ask the participants to write, produce and direct a year-end play for the theater group to perform. Urge them to come up with an active, fun play. Invite family members to the performance.

7. Tennis for Two

Offer tennis classes for grandparents and grandchildren at a special intergenerational rate. At the season's end, organize a tennis tournament in which participants play other intergenerational pairs. Suggest that grandparents and grandchildren invite other family members to watch or join in the fun. Provide fun awards to program participants, and be creative when coming up with award categories. When the tournament ends, throw a party to recruit other family members for the upcoming season.

8. PC Pals

Provide intergenerational computer classes, which allow grandchildren to help grandparents learn basic computer knowledge. Encourage family groups to use the computer to communicate.

9. Family Play

Devise activities that provide all family members with opportunities to work out together, e.g. outdoor hikes, biking or walking trips, or sports days. Host a family Olympics, with fun events and categories for all family members. Ensure that activities are accessible for all participants.

10. The Learning Files

Help grandparents share their skills and talents with younger family members by giving them opportunities to teach grandchildren - even if they are learning a topic themselves. Make lesson plans fun and easy. Give tomorrow's plan to grandparents, so they can prepare to teach grandchildren about subjects such as meal planning, reading food labels, or choosing the right footwear for an activity.

Relationships with grandchildren bring love, energy, play and purpose into the lives of older adults. In return, children benefit from the attention, maturity, knowledge and love of their grandparents, many of whom are caring and thoughtful role models. By creating programs that bring together these family members, you can provide individuals with healthier futures and valued life experiences, while improving your bottom line.

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