[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 124, 111th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

 
PROCLAMATION 8554--SEPT. 1, 2010

Proclamation 8554 of September 1, 2010
National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, 2010
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

One of the greatest responsibilities we have as a Nation is to safeguard
the health and well-being of our children. We now face a national
childhood obesity crisis, with nearly one in every three of America's
children being overweight or obese. There are concrete steps we can take
right away as concerned parents, caregivers, educators, loved ones, and
a Nation to ensure that our children are able to live full and active
lives. During National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, I urge all
Americans to take action to meet our national goal of solving the
problem of childhood obesity within a generation.
Childhood obesity has been a growing problem for decades. While it has
afflicted children across our country, certain Americans have been
disproportionately affected. Particular racial and ethnic groups are
more severely impacted, as are certain regions of the country. In
addition, obesity can be influenced by a number of environmental and
behavioral factors, including unhealthy eating patterns and too little
physical activity at home and at school.
We must do more to halt and reverse this epidemic, as obesity can lead
to severe and chronic health problems during childhood, adolescence and
adulthood, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and asthma. Not
only does excess weight adversely affect our children's well-being, but
its associated health risks also impose great costs on families, our
health care system, and our economy. Each year, nearly $150 billion are
spent to treat obesity-related medical conditions. This is not the
future to which we want to consign our children, and it is a burden our
health care system cannot bear.
Earlier this year, the First Lady announced ``Let's Move!''--an
initiative to combat childhood obesity at every stage of a child's life.
As President, I created a Task Force on Childhood Obesity to marshal the
combined resources of the Federal Government to develop interagency
solutions and make recommendations on how to respond to this crisis. The
Task Force produced a report containing a comprehensive set of
recommendations that will put our country on track for solving this
pressing health issue and preventing it from threatening future
generations.
The report outlines broad strategies to address childhood obesity,
including providing healthier food in schools, ensuring access to
healthy

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affordable food, increasing opportunities for physical activity,
empowering parents and caregivers with better information about making
healthy choices, and giving children a healthy start in life. I invite
all Americans to visit LetsMove.gov to learn more about these
recommendations and find additional information and resources on how to
help children eat healthy and stay active.
The new landmark health care law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA),
includes a number of important tools for fighting and reversing the rise
of childhood obesity. All new health insurance plans will be required to
cover both screenings for childhood obesity and counseling on nutrition
and sustained weight loss, without charging any out of pocket costs. The
ACA also requires large restaurant and vending machine operators to
provide visible nutritional information about the products they sell,
enabling all Americans to make more informed choices about the foods
they eat. As part of my Administration's comprehensive approach to
combating this epidemic, the ACA includes millions in new funds to
implement prevention activities nationwide that support recommendations
of the Task Force on Childhood Obesity.
Our history shows that when we are united in our convictions, we can
safeguard the health and safety of America's children for generations to
come. When waves of American children were stricken with polio and
disabled for life, we developed a nationwide immunization program that
eradicated this crippling disease from our shores within a matter of
decades. When we discovered that children were going to school hungry
because their families could not afford nutritious meals, we created the
National School Lunch Program. Today, this program feeds more than 30
million American children, often at little or no charge. When we work
together, we can overcome any obstacle and protect our Nation's most
precious resource--our children. As we take steps to turn around the
epidemic of childhood obesity, I am confident that we will solve this
problem together, and that we will solve it in a generation.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of
America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 2010 as
National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. I encourage all Americans to
take action by learning about and engaging in activities that promote
healthy eating and greater physical activity by all of our Nation's
children.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of
September, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the
Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-
fifth.
BARACK OBAMA