In order to measure the effectiveness of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, we must step back. The goal of the campaign was simple: increase awareness regarding the importance of healthy food choices and physical fitness. According to “Let’s Move!”, the initiative was implemented nationwide in the form of programs. These programs contained detailed plans to bring physical activity and healthy food to schools, give the local and state governments holistic goals to fight child obesity, and much more.
The “Let’s Move!” campaign has been successful in converting the school food system through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, an act that helped upgrade school meal nutrition standards for the first time in 15 years. In addition, the campaign created “Let’s Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties”, a program that gave elected officials aid in building healthier communities.
While the initiative has helped over 81 million people in the nation and attained considerable regard, there has still been some scrutiny concerning its effectiveness. While some deemed the initiative as an excuse for the government to manipulate the choices of everyday Americans, others worried that the emphasis on body image would be detrimental to the youth rather than beneficial.
CNN reported that “At 17%, the overall rate of childhood obesity remains more than three times higher than it was in 1974. That overall rate hasn’t changed since 2008, before Let’s Move began.” Modern Healthcare has also included that”others have felt the campaign has not gone far enough to hold food producers more accountable for their role in contributing to an obesity epidemic that has doubled among children and quadrupled among adolescents over the past three decades.”
The main take away from the achievements and criticism of “Let’s Move!” is the fact that every attempt to better the health of the nation will come under some sort of backlash despite good intentions. If we want a healthier life for the coming generations, it is crucial to stay informed and updated on these matters.