Posts Tagged ‘First Lady’

HHS Gives 11 Wellness Programs $31 Million

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Wellness gets $31 million to fight obesity and smoking.At present, seven of every 10 deaths among Americans are due to chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.  These diseases also eat up 75 percent of the nation’s annual healthcare spending.

New wellness programs are getting a boost from the Affordable Care Act in the form of $31 million to help communities cut obesity, increase physical activity and improve nutrition.  The funding is contained in the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program, a prevention and wellness program that is overseen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“As I’ve seen throughout the year in my work with Let’s Move!, prevention works when it comes to improving the health of our families,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.  “These critical investments will help more communities across America tackle serious challenges like childhood obesity, while promoting physical activity and healthy eating.” The funding is being awarded to communities that have resources in place to increase the availability of healthy food and beverages; enhance access to safe places to encourage physical activity; discourage smoking; and promote environments that are smoke free.  Of the 11 awards announced, 10 are dedicated to anti-obesity programs and one to smoking cessation.

“To realize our goals of improving the health of Americans and lowering our nation’s healthcare costs, we must address the underlying factors that influence our families’ health – factors like the foods we eat and the conditions that exist in our homes, neighborhoods and workplaces,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  “With Communities Putting Prevention to Work, we’re creating evidence-based models that we can replicate on a large scale to permanently reduce the chronic diseases plaguing so many of our communities.”  Already this year, CPPW has given nearly $492 million to support community and statewide hotlines and media campaigns that promote healthy living.

Michelle Obama Asks Grocery Manufacturers for Healthier Foods

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

First Lady takes the offensive for childhood obesity.First Lady Michelle Obama recently took her initiative against childhood obesity to the source, asking companies at a meeting of the Grocery Manufacturers Association to “step it up” and add less fat, salt and sugar to foods.  “We need you not to just tweak around the edges but entirely rethink the products you are offering, the information that you provide about those products, and how you market those products to our children,” she said.

Although Mrs. Obama has addressed schools and nutrition groups about childhood obesity, this was the first time that she faced the companies that make the snacks and junk food that contribute to the problem.  The Grocery Manufacturers Association – whose members include Kraft Foods, Inc., Coca Cola Co. and General Mills, Inc. – had invited the first lady to speak at its science forum and gave her a standing ovation.

Mrs. Obama called for food labels that are less confusing, smaller portion sizes and increased marketing of healthy foods.  She also urged the food companies to find creative ways to market products as healthy, increase nutrients, and reduce the number of bad ingredients.  “While decreasing fat is certainly a good thing, replacing it with sugar and salt isn’t,” she said.  “This needs to be a serious industry-wide commitment to providing the healthier foods parents are looking for at prices they can afford.”

Scott Faber, a grocery association lobbyist, said his industry is working with the government to find ways to produce healthier foods.  “Consumers are demanding more and more healthy choices.  Our industry will do our part by changing the way we make and market our foods, but government has a big role to play as well.”