Let's Move! in Indian Country is a comprehensive initiative dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. This is an ambitious goal. But with your help, we can do it.
Additionally, 1 in 3 children are overweight or obese before their 5th birthday in Indian Country. In order to combat this growing problem, we need your help and participation in your community in order to promote healthy eating habits and increased physical activity.
Many groups in Indian Country are continuing to lead by example by following traditional paths that have existed for thousands of years. To build on the strength of this tradition, and to address the obesity health crisis that young American Indians and Alaska Natives are facing, the Obama Administration has formed the interagency collaboration, Let's Move! in Indian Country. Participants include representatives from the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative, the White House Domestic Policy Council, the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and Education.
The Let's Move! initiative recognizes we will be building upon many important efforts that are already being made in Indian Country to address the crisis of childhood obesity. And government alone cannot solve the obesity problem and reach the goal of ending the epidemic of obesity in a generation. Each tribe is unique and tribal leaders must be involved in order for Let's Move! in Indian Country to succeed. We want to work with you to reduce childhood obesity and related conditions and instill good exercise habits in your tribe so that Native youth can grow, thrive and meet their full potential in life.
Our Four Pillars:
Informed by research and recommendations in the President's Childhood Obesity Task Force Report, we have set four main goals for Let's Move! in Indian Country:
1. Creating a Healthy Start on Life
Spurring healthy eating and exercising practices early in a child's life is one of the best ways to ensure healthy development.. The President's task force has recommended increasing the number of health care facilities that use maternity care practices that empower new mothers to breastfeed. Thus, our goal is to help create baby friendly hospitals throughout Indian Country and increase rates of breast feeding
2. Developing Healthy Learning Communities
Many children consume at least half of their daily calories at school, and for many children, food served at school may be the only food they regularly eat. Also, children spend over 6 hours each day at school. Students can get most of their physical activity through a quality PE program that is complemented by activities before, during, and after school, as well as in recess, other physical activity breaks, intramural and physical activity clubs, interscholastic sports, and walks and bike rides to school. We strive to give learning communities the tools they need to promote healthy eating practices and increased physical education programs.
3.Increasing Physical Activity
Children and adults alike get far too little physical activity, which is an important part of preventing obesity and staying healthy. Whether at school, at community programs, or with their families, children can be provided with opportunities to get outside and get moving. Let's Move! in Indian Country is a resource for community groups looking to incorporate new physical education classes into their programs, seeking to create safe ways for students to walk to school and engage their Tribe in physical fitness events.
4.Increasing Access to Affordable, Healthy and Traditional Foods
The President's Task Force has recommended that communities establish food policy councils, which help stakeholders come together to tackle the problem of increasing access to affordable, healthy foods. This initiative also works to increase communities' access to healthy traditional foods.