'Let's Move' 4th Anniversary: A Failure?

The White House issued a press release on Thursday from the office of Michelle Obama touting the fourth anniversary of her program, "Let’s Move." The press release said that “we are moving toward a healthier future and this movement is becoming the new norm all across the country. From child care centers through high school, from sun up to sun down the country is moving toward a healthier future.”

Some school districts and parents are quite disenchanted with Obama’s idea. Angry parents in the Harlan County Public School District told district board members, "Kids can't learn when they're hungry!" Superintendent Gary Lewis of Catlin, Ill., said last year that his district lost $30,000 because of the program. He commented, "Some of the stuff we had to offer, they would not eat. So you sit there and watch the kids, and you know they're hungry at the end of the day, and that led to some behavior and some lack of attentiveness." He was echoed by the Voorheesville School District in Voorheesville, N.Y., which lost $30,000 in three months when the lunches provided by the program went unsold. The Laguna Beach Unified School District in Laguna Beach, Calif., ditched the program entirely.

Many schools have their proverbial hands tied; if they have many low-income students and cut the program they would lose money from the government.

The press release bragged about those who have adopted the program:

Thanks in part to these efforts, our nation is moving towards a new, healthier norm.  More Americans now have access to healthy, affordable food closer to home, school health environments are changing, healthier foods are being marketed to kids, and making healthy choices is becoming easier for families.  A CDC report released last year showed that obesity among low-income pre-schoolers declined in 19 states over the past couple of years.

How does the White House reconcile its sunny picture with a 2012 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Results released that month which showed only one in four U.S. kids aged 12-15 met the program’s one-hour-a-day activity requirements?


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