First Lady Michelle Obama’s "Let’s Move" campaign to combat childhood obesity is challenging stakeholders across the food business and beyond, and could provide further impetus to the dairy industry's "Fuel Up to Play 60" campaign.
A priority of the "Let's Move" program is to put healthier foods in school cafeterias.
“The USDA is prepared to move and move aggressively,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “We need to be replacing sugar with more fruit and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy.”
In addition to its work in schools, campaign proponents are looking to improve access to healthy, affordable foods by working to eliminate "food deserts” — areas like inner cities that don’t have easy access to food retailers. The Healthy Food Financing Initiative was part of the President’s 2011 budget and would provide loans for supermarkets to develop in under-served areas.
In mid-January, the dairy industry rolled out its "Fuel Up to Play 60" campaign in cooperation with the National Football League. The campaign is funded with an initial private sector financial commitment of $250 million over five years by America’s dairy farmers through the Naitonal Dairy Council. It is an effort to improve nutrient-rich food choices and achieve 60 minutes of physical activity each day among children.
More than 58,000, or 60 percent, of the nation’s 96,000 private and public schools are currently enrolled in "Fuel Up to Play 60."