Childhood Obesity Summit: Opening Session

Uploaded by whitehouse on 09.04.2010

Melody Barns: Great thank you so much.
Welcome everyone.
It is a pleasure, pleasure to have you here
at the White House for what
I think will be an interesting and informative afternoon.
And I just want to start out by introducing those who have
joined me colleagues and friends who have joined me on stage.
Starting from my far left, Office Of Management And Budget
Director Peter Orszag.
And then we have Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary
Kathleen Merrigan.
Many of you may have read an article about her recently in
the Washington Post.
We have surgeon general Regina Benjamin.
Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar.
And Secretary Of Education Arne Duncan.
Please join me in welcoming them.
Speaker: And I just want to let you know that Secretary Duncan will
have to leave a little bit early,
but he is leaving two of his finest from the Department Of
Education behind here with us so they'll be joining us throughout the afternoon. So just last night and I am not making this up.
Just last night I received an e-mail from a good friend and
former colleague and she and her 7 year old son had just finished
working on his homework.
And he asked for a glass of milk.
She gave it to him.
After that, he looked at her and said so when are you planting a garden?
And she responded well, we need to wait a little bit
longer until it gets warmer, maybe in may.
He said, well, you know, Momma, Michelle Obama the wife of the
President, said that people have to eat healthy.
So we need to plant a garden.
My friend said that he then proceeded to rat out his friend
and I won't name his friend because there are cameras here,
but he ratted out his friend who quote eats bad food and
therefore is not healthy.
And that ladies and gentlemen, that I would say is what we are fighting for.
That kind of change.
That kind of transformation.
Children, adults, people across all sectors thinking
about eating right, eating healthy and tackling this issue of childhood obesity.
And now it is my pleasure to introduce someone who has given
us her savvy, her smart, her energy and her passion
around this issue.
And certainly her leadership, someone who can convince CEOs
and 7 year olds the first lady of the United States.
Michelle Obama.
Mrs. Obama: Thank you everyone.
Thank you all so much.
It is a pleasure to be here with all of you.
Let me begin by thanking Melody for that kind introduction.
That wonderful story.
It is happening in kitchens and households all over America.
Kids really moving for the change.
I also want to thank Melody for her work in sharing the task force.
She has been instrumental and we have seen such significant
movement under her leadership.
I also would like to thank several members of this
administration who are providing invaluable leadership on this issue.
Melody introduced them, but let me take time to thank
Secretaries Duncan and Salazar.
OBM Director Peter Orszag.
Surgeon General Regina Benjamin.
Deputy Secretary Of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan.
And Nancy-Ann DeParle.
Is Nancy here?
She is the director of the White House Health Reform.
And she obviously has been incredibly instrumental in this
and so many efforts in this administration.
Thank you all for your leadership.
This has been an administration wide effort.
And I am so proud of this team.
Everyone in this administration has embraced this issue with a
level of fervor and commitment, and that is why we are able to
be standing here today, having made so much progress in such a
short period of time.
This gathering has never happened before.
At the White House.
It is one where we are bringing together teachers and advocates.
Doctors, nurses, business leaders, public servants,
researchers and health experts to talk about one of the most
serious and difficult problems facing our kids today.
And that is the epidemic of childhood obesity.
We are here because we all care deeply about the health and well
being of America's children.
And we gathered folks from across America and across every
relevant field because in the end solving this problem is
going to take every single one of us.
And that is really at the heart of the let's move campaign.
We launched this campaign two months ago.
But the idea was actually inspired by the planting of the
White House kitchen garden.
Last March, with the help of local students,
who have been so incredible, we planted the garden on the south
lawn of the White House and it allowed us to begin a
conversation about the importance,
not just of healthy eating, eating right, the good food,
but also getting exercise into our lives.
The kids during that whole year of planting and harvesting
showed so much enthusiasm, so much excitement about that
garden, and about the potential of the topic that we realized
there was an opportunity to do much more.
Because they were so open.
So we launched let's move.
The campaign is designed to raise awareness about the
problem of childhood obesity and to focus on how we as a nation
have to coming to solve it.
My husband signed a presidential memorandum creating the first
ever government wide task force on childhood obesity.
Composed of representatives of key agencies
across the government.
Since then I have spoken to so many people can I have heard
from so many people across this country.
I have met with mayors and governors and I have asked them
to do their part to build healthier cities and states.
I have met with school nutrition association members the folks
who decide what served in schools and I have asked them
to do their part to offer healthier meals and snacks to our kids at school.
I have met with the food manufacturers and asked them to
do their part to improve
the quality of the food they provide.
And to do a better job of marketing nutritious use food to our kids.
I have met with kids, I met with a bunch of them the other day
and my first town hall meeting full of kids.
And they were wonderful.
And I asked them to do their part.
I asked them nicely but I asked them to do their part as well.
What I told them they were the most important players in this
piece because it is up to them to make different decisions,
to try to make it little easier on their parents to
try new things and to incorporate exercise.
And I have been meeting with parents too because we all need
to do our parts as well.
Because the fact is our kids didn't do this to themselves.
They don't decide the sugar content in soda or the
advertising content of a television show.
Kids don't choose what served to them for lunch at school.
And shouldn't be deciding what is served to them for dinner at home.
They don't decide if there is time in the day or room
in the budget to learn about healthy eating or to spend time playing outside.
We make those decisions.
That is all up to us.
And I know how hard it is.
I know how hard it is as a parent when you are bombarded
by ads for junk food.
When you are hit with a barrage of conflicting stories about
whats healthy and whats not.
When you always feel like you are failing to meet some
impossible standard, for working parents or for any parents
for that matter.
We also know how hard it is for schools to provide nutritious
lunches with just a few dollars to make that happen.
We know the budget constraints facing local governments in
these tough times.
And we all know how difficult this problem is when playgrounds
and ballparks are competing with video games and social
networking sites and when our children are simply surrounded
by many more opportunities to eat badly and to sit around then
they are to eat well and move.
But we also know this, that over the pass three decades childhood
obesity rates in America have tripled.
That is a fact.
Nearly one third of children in America now
are overweight or obese.
That as reality.
And unless we act Now, things are only going to get worse.
That is a fact.
Let's move recognizes this reality.
And recognizes that there are few things we can do right now
that can make a difference.
First we have to help parents and empower consumers by
encouraging companies to offer healthier options.
And providing more customer friendly labels so people can
figure out whats healthy and what isn't.
And there are tools and resources available right now to
parents and kids at our website let's
Second, with 31 million children getting lunch through federal
lunch programs, we can do so much more to provide healthy
meals and snacks where our kids spend most of their days.
And I am pleased that the Senate agricultural committee has made
a significant contribution toward the president's goal of
investing one million dollars per year to insure that the food
provided to our children's schools is nutritious use and
healthy and that fewer children in this country go hungry.
Third, we can do much more to make sure that all families have
access to healthy and affordable food in their own communities.
23.5 million Americans including 6.5 million children,
live in communities without a super market.
That means far fewer healthier options are available to so many
families who are going to be
working to try to figure this out.
They won't have access to the resources they need to do what
we are asking them to do.
We are working with the private sector to reach a very
ambitious goal and that is to completely eliminate food desserts in this country.
And finally, there is much much more that we can do to help kids
stay physically active.
Not just in school but outside of school as well.
If we can make real progress in these four areas,
then there is so much more else we can do.
But these four areas as a country,
we can reach our ultimate goal and the ultimate goal for let's
move is to solve the problem of childhood obesity in a
generation so that children born today grow up at healthy weight
with better notions of what is healthy, with better habits,
who are incorporating exercise into their lives on a more
regular basis, so there are more kids like the one that Melody
described, who know what it even means to eat healthy.
That is our goal.
And to achieve this goal, we are going to need all of you,
we are going to need all of you.
Your insight, your experience, your guidance, and that is why
we are so excited by this gathering here today.
Because you all know this issue better than just about anyone.
So many of you have dedicated your lives to fighting this
battle and many of you are just thankful that there is someone
else shining the spotlight on what you have known
for a long long time.
This folks this in room, all of you, working together,
can do more than just
about anyone to help us tackle this issue.
What we have done is started a national conversation,
we have started a important national conversation.
But we need your help to propel that conversation into a
national response.
So today is very important.
The work that you do here is really meaningful which is why
you have so many heavy hitters here,
we need your advice and your input.
To make that happen, we are going to have you break into
smaller sessions lead by members of the task force that will
focus on these four key components of let's move.
And the information we collect here today will be essential
to construct the final report that is going to come from the task force.
A report that will serve as a very important road map with
goals, bench marks and measurable outcomes that will
help us collectively tackle this challenge.
So with that, all I have to say is let's move.
Let's get this going.
Thank you all so much.
Thank you for your energy, your expertise,
thank all administration.
I am confident because of the stories we hear from kids that
they are ready for us to move.
They are more than ready.
Once again, they are waiting for us.
Let's get this started.
Thank you so much and have a productive meeting.
Thanks so much.
Speaker: As the first lady mentioned, on February 9,
the president signed a memorandum creating the task
force on childhood obesity.
And he charged the task force with writing an action plan to
solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation.
Consistent the president's charge the plan must not only
include recommendations for federal government actions,
but also keeping the lights on.
Not only creating a plan for federal government action but
also from actions from everyone across all sectors.
Across society including the private sector.
Task force benefits from the expertise of 12 federal agencies
and all agencies are present and accounted for here today.
There are members and representatives from those
departments and agencies among us in the audience.
And those representatives will be engaging with you when we
break in about half an hour or so for our break out sessions.
But from the very, very beginning we have always said
that the federal government
can't and should not do this alone.
If there was ever a walk and talk moment, this is it.
We need everyone, all hands on deck.
Our plan will include not only recommendations for the
government, but for all actors including the private sector.
In fact, we requested and many of you in fact,
we received thousands of responses from people across the
country sending us their most insightful ideas for what our
initiative should do and the actions that our task force
should recommend to the president.
For those people who sent those kinds of recommendations us
to who may be watching us
at home, thank you so much for doing that.
Today we want to continue that conversation.
We are looking for your very, very best thinking across the
sectors on the steps we can take to solve childhood obesity.
In the break out sessions that we are about to have,
we'll be asking you to identify three to five of the best ideas,
the most important actions that you think that the task force
should in turn recommend to the president.
Again, not just federal government activity but also
actions by State and local actor, the private sector,
non profits, the philanthropic sector,
community organizations and others.
And as I mentioned, we want each of your groups to come up with
three to five recommendations.
Not ten to 15.
I know I have been in break out groups and you come up with
about your 50th idea and you think, well,
we can't cut that one.
But we really do want to you think very critically about this
so we can in turn take that information and the task force
can use it, synthesize it with our ideas and make great
recommendations to the president.
As many of you know, we have divided our work into four
pillars, and those are the once that have been cited in the
president's memorandum and the first lady also referenced.
I will mention them one more time.
One insuring access to healthy and affordable food.
Two, increasing physical activity in schools
and communities.
Three, providing healthier food in schools.
And four, empowering parents with information and tools to
make good decisions
for themselves and for their families.
We are going to delve very deeply into those issues during
the break out sessions, but before we go there I would like
to engage the members of the panel,
our administration officials who are sitting on the stage,
and ask them a few questions just to provide a little
more context for you.
After I ask them questions, we'll certainly provide an
opportunity for you to do the same until we have to break to
go into our break out sessions.
What I would like to do is start with Secretary Duncan and talk
about the fact that often people think about childhood obesity
and they think about the issue of nutrition.
They think about food.
What you are putting into your body.
Often people don't think about output,
think about physical activity.
And I know that is something that is very,
very important to you.
It is something that you have gone around the country talking
about as you have gone in schools and I was wondering if
you could share with us your thoughts on that.
How can we engage people around physical activity,
particularly in our schools around the country?
Secretary Duncan: Happy to have the opportunity.
Thanks so much for your leadership and the first
lady's on this issue.
On the nutrition side, partnership of the department
of agriculture has been extraordinary in their
leadership and courage and better foods in schools in
breakfasts and lunches
and vending machines and so important.
But as all of you know if students are not active,
you don't get where we need to go.
And I think so often there has been this false dichotomy for
false choice, we are either serious about academics
or we are going to let kids run around.
And we all shaped by our own experiences.
I was lucky to have two well educated parents,
both of help were educators and education was very,
very important in our house.
I was one of those little young boys that if I didn't
have a chance to run around during a school day,
I wasn't going to make it.
I was going to be very, very tough for my teachers.
And rather than being a false choice,
I would argue if you want our students to be much more
successful academically, they have to be active.
These things are not in conflict.
They reinforce each other.
Whether it is before school, whether it is PE,
whether it is recess.
I am a big fan of recess.
Whether it is at lunch or after school or whether it is in the
community, we have to have opportunities for our students
from the earliest of ages, not just in high school, but
5, 6, 7, 8 year olds to be physically active and to start
to build a healthy life style.
First lady talked so much about food deserts that is something
that I have worried about for a long time in communities,
but we have sort of a recreation deserts.
And guess what, that is often in the same communities.
We have to create playgrounds, we have to create cultures,
we have to create time and we have to demonstrate that
students who are physically fit, who are physically active are
going to be much better in class, less discipline problems,
they are going to concentrate better,
they are going to be more engaged in school,
they are going to enjoy coming to school.
More often, we have to get past this us vs.
them mentality.
We are going to work very, very hard and more value around
creating well rounded educations for children.
We think one of the constant critiques of I have heard of
traveling the country is the nailing of the curriculum, and,
yes, math and reading are very, very important but so is science
and social studies and fine arts and foreign languages
and so is PE and so is recess.
We are going to try to put a huge amount of money,
we have a billion dollars in our budget to reinforce
well rounded curriculum.
We have unprecedented competitive resources we want to
put behind places that have demonstrated the ability to get
better results for students.
And I am absolutely convinced as we look around the country and
as we look internationally the place that is doing a great job
with students take this physical activity very, very seriously.
So we have a long way to go, but we see this extraordinary
opportunity and the fact that we can work these things at the
same time and partnership makes me think in the next two or
three years we can be in a fundamentally different
place as a country.
And again, I want to thank all of you for pushing
this issue so far.
Speaker: Great.
Thank you secretary Duncan.
Secretary Salazar, I want to turn to you next.
Because you have I think the other side of the coin.
Secretary Duncan was talking about what schools can do.
You have got the great out doors,
the department of interior.
I was wondering if you could talk to us about other ways we
can engage our children in physical activity given some of
the resources that you know exist around the country.
Secretary Salazar: Absolutely.
Thank you Melody for your leadership on this issue and to
the first lady for her wonderful inspiration and the example for
all of the country.
There are other people here who they can't take care of the DIET
side or input side.
On the other side, the exercise side I think challenge that we
face is a stark one, we need to get our young people and our
society as a whole connected more to the out doors
than they have been.
Today unfortunately we have our young people spending a lot of
time in front of computers and televisions and I pods than we
do in the outdoors.
There is a dis connect between our children the outdoors.
So one of the challenges we face is how do we get our children
outdoors doing the kind of exercise that is important for
their health and to address this issue of obesity.
From our position at the department of interior,
working with our colleagues at transportation, UPA,
agricultural and so many others.
I think there are so many opportunity Melody where we can
create these places for young people to get to the outdoors.
So within our own department we have four hundred million
visitors a year to our national parks and our bureau of land
management properties and so on.
When you look across the spectrum of outdoors
opportunities, you think about the greater parks of America and
the river ways we have in place like Chicago and saint
Lewis and Colorado.
How we get in those urban communities where we provide
opportunities for young people to ride their bikes along the
river ways or along the parks that we create in our country.
That is a huge opportunity for us.
How we work local communities and schools to try to locate
some of our parks close to schools.
We have an opportunity that director John Jarvis of the
national parks is telling me, one of the things that we do is
we give out a lot of money to the State.
Well as we give out money to the states for recreational
activities and State parks, well,
how about co-locating those in a close proximity to schools?
So that when the kids are getting out or recess or after
school, you know, maybe instead of playing on the hard top or
out play or in places where it may not be quite as save as
playing outdoors in the woods, or close by,
we ought to figure out what some of those partnerships are.
But, I believe that one of the great contributions of this
administration, one of it's legacies will be what it does
with the outdoors in terms of a conservation agenda
for the 21st century.
That conservation agenda can only work if you of people
connected to that agenda.
Getting people to connect to the outdoors is one of the things
that we are very focused on within the
department of interior.
Speaker: Great.
Now that we talked a little bit about physical activity.
Deputy secretary Merrigan I want to ask you
some questions about food.
And thinking about what we can and should be doing to make sure
our kids are getting good high quality healthy foods in school
and access to those same kind of foods when they are outside of
their schoolyard when they are in their neighborhood.
Particularly in some neighbored where they may not necessarily
have access to it as the first lady and Arne were discussing
food deserts around the country.
Speaker: Thanks, Melody.
First I want to say and the first lady captured this in her
remarks, she talks about hunger in America and she
talked about obesity.
One of the things that I like to tell people is, it seems
like a paradox that actually stems from the same problem.
Lack of access to good healthy food.
Our school programs, our feeding programs are very important.
As the first lady said over 31 million children will have
school lunch today.
They are very important.
We know from an institute of medicine report that the USDA
commission, our school
lunches need a little bit of an overhaul.
We need to do much better in terms of providing healthy food
to our school children both in the school lunch program as well
as 11 million children that get school breakfast.
And the 2.4 million children that are part of our summer
school feeding programs.
We have got a great opportunity this year,
child nutrition reauthorization.
The first lady mentioned that.
We are working with congress to do a variety of things.
We know we need money.
And we would like to see the president's commitment of a
billion dollars a year over ten years,
infusion of new funds to do some new things in this program so we
think that is extremely important.
We have got the see increased reimbursement rates.
We would like to see farm to school programs.
We would like to see new technology and overall more
fruits and vegetables, whole grains low fat dairy,
in those school feeding programs.
And we are working with congress on that.
In the meantime, we have to do what we have already.
And we have been using our recovery act hours to put in
school equipment.
That is really important if you have a salad bar.
You can deliver food in a different way because kids are
going to eat those salads.
We have been working on a certification of schools so when
we have low income, a lot of kids with reduced or free
lunches doing overall
school certification making ease of access.
We should have bureaucratic barriers to kids who need these
foods getting them.
We have a healthier foods school challenge.
We are challenging 600 schools that have already signed up.
We want to get 3,000 in another year.
They are taking it on themselves to challenge.
There is a lot of stuff going on in that environment.
Kids do go home at the end of the day and we have
neighborhoods as the first lady said where there is no access to food.
In fact there is 11.5 million of the 22 million that the first
lady mentioned were people of very low income where it is more
than a mile to a super market.
We know they are going to corner stores,
sometimes they are going to liquor stores to buy food.
And they are paying more money for less healthy food.
So we are using some of our world development programs,
to help particularly rural areas that don't have the population
to support brick and mortar
store but you can have a local grocery.
We are working on some innovations like that.
We also have a in the FY11 budget proposal between HHS
treasury and USDA healthy food financing initiative.
Which is a major undertaking to tackle food deserts both rural
and urban America.
We hope that congress works with us on that with us and we get
that tool very soon.
Speaker: Thank you.
Well, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin,
I know from our conversations that you were recently
testifying on this issue.
And that you have also been all over the country.
In fact this weekend, you said you are going to have all child
obesity weekend all weekend this coming weekend.
You will be in several different states.
And you also have the benefit of really seeing this issue for
pragmatic standpoint as a physician.
I was wondering if you could give us a sense of what you tell
people when you go out to talk to them and what you have seen
has happened in the issue of childhood obesity in the last
ten plus years, twenty years in terms of childhood obesity
rates, what you are seeing in communities.
Just put it in that kind of a context for us.
Speaker: Thank you, Melody.
I also would like to thank you and the first lady for
continuing to keep this issue in front of everyone.
It is probably one of the most challenging and serious issues
facing our country today
in the health and well being of Americans.
Just since 1980, obesity rates are doubled in adults and
tripled in children.
And the problem is even worse amongst blacks,
Hispanics and native American children.
In the USA, we have been working on this problem for some time,
although we have made some strides in some things have
gotten better since the first surgeon general's report in 2001.
He had what we call a call to action.
We still have more than one in three children who are currently
overweight or obese.
We see the sobering statistics these numbers have on the rates
of chronic diseases, such as diabetes,
heart disease and other chronic illnesses that are effecting our
children more and more.
Just a few weeks ago, a study from the university of North
Carolina School of Medicine, reported that obese children as
young as age three shows signs of an inflammatory response that
has been linked to heart disease later in life.
Just like the first lady and others gathered here today.
I felt we needed to have a coordinated response.
Coordinated national response to address this issue.
So in January, the first lady joined me when I released my
first paper, called The Surgeon General's Vision For A
Healthier Fit Nation.
In that paper, I layout ways to respond to this particular
health problem.
One of the ways is we need to in involve the parents.
The parents are the first teachers.
And everyday parents make decisions about food,
about the play time, about family time.
And we need to make sure that the parents have the information
that they need to help their children to make good and
healthy choices.
And the parents should also remember that if the children
see them, enjoying physical activity and eating healthy
foods, the children are more likely to do the same.
It is also this growing consensus that we as a nation
need to create communities and environments where the healthy
choices are the easy choices and the affordable choices.
Finally, I would like to change that national conversation from
a negative conversation about being obese and illness to a
positive conversation about being healthy and fit.
I think that let's move campaign is well on it is way to do that.
Speaker: Thank you.
And in a minute I am going to open the microphone to have you
ask questions.
Think about the questions you want to ask
the members of our panel.
Before I do, I want to turn to my colleague Peter Orszag who is
the head of our Office Of Management and Budget.
And one of the things that I think you have done so well and
so convincingly, Peter, is talking about this issue not
just from the perspective of this being an health issue,
but also what the costs are to our society when it comes to
childhood obesity.
I was wondering if you could share your thoughts on that with
our audience here as well as our audience watching at home.
Peter Orszag: Mr. Orszag: Absolutely, Melody.
And also let me join in thanking you and the first
lady and others for the focus on this issue.
Which has cost to our society not only in terms of health,
I will come back to that in a second.
But also just in terms of health care costs themselves.
The typical obese beneficiary costs roughly almost $1,500 more
per year than someone with a normal body mass index.
Aggregate cost of obesity in our health care system according to
the CDC already $150 billion a year.
That number is projected to almost double over the next
decade or so at which point obesity health care costs would
account for more than a 5th of overall health care spending.
Quite stunning direct health care costs.
There are also then productivity and other costs
associated with obesity.
With obese workers being less productive at work,
having other associated costs.
All in very substantial costs.
Not only in the narrow green eye shade perspective.
But I think it is not appreciated how great the health
risk are associated with obesity.
Substantially larger.
For example, than with smoking.
Evidence suggests that the association between obesity and
chronic conditions is substantially higher than
between smoking and chronic conditions.
And that having a body mass index in the obesity range is
equivalent to aging 20 years in terms of the chronic conditions
that you face.
So 40 may be the new 30.
But if you are obese, 40 is the new 60.
That has very substantial costs for the people involved.
I would end by saying and I have never seen many of the people in
the front row.
I have read a lot of what you have written.
I think there is a lot of growing evidence on what we can
do both through economics and behavioral economics and through
the social norms that apply that I know are the focus of a lot of
this activity, that can make very substantial progress.
I think economists are realizing that traditional Econ 101
approach to problems associated with high calorie,
low nutrient food and lack of exercise,
need to be supplemented by a whole host of other innovations,
and I think that is exactly what's happening.
And I think that is a very healthy development.
Speaker: Thank you.
Well, now I would like to find out if any of you have any questions.
Well, great we'll start right here.
If you could give us your name and your organization from where
you are from, that would be terrific.
Speaker: One second.
We have a microphone for you.
Speaker: I am coming from a perspective that probably is not
discussed much.
As larger employer, we have a large industry, you know,
hotels, thousands of rooms.
They all provide free breakfast, lunch, and dinner to employees.
I am a consultant to a MGM company,
their bonus programs and these manager programs and one of the
thing that the company did was gradually start transitioning
the cafeteria into healthy foods and things that were not known
to the employees, like take away the fried French fries
into baked fries.
Those fries don't taste good.
Well something happened that kind of a thing.
Right now they are transitioning to a very healthy cafeteria.
So that is two things, you get a healthy employee population and
then that translates into children,
their own children at home, and they are getting healthy and
they are seeing the benefit of translate.
That is one area that larger employers can do a lot to
transition into healthy cafeterias for free meals.
Speaker: Thank you.
Speaker: Can I respond?
Speaker: I think it is wonderful and you are to be commended on that.
I also would like to remind you it would be good if the larger
employers provided clean and private places for mothers to
breast feed if they want to breast feed.
Because we know as -- if a mother exclusively breast feeds
her child the first six months, there is a very good likelihood
that the child will not be obese.
Speaker: If I can add to that.
Speaker: If I can just add one more thing which is it is not just,
as I see Brian and others.
It is not just the food provided but someone in the corporation
at some point is deciding is the fruit at the front of the
cafeteria line or is it at the back?
How is it presented?
Where and how?
Whats the context?
That is a very substantial effect too.
You can maintain freedom of choice.
And full array of food choices.
But someone is deciding whether the cookies are at the front of
the line or the fruit is at the front of the line.
It has a very substantial effect on what people eat.
Speaker: Why don't we go right here on this side.
Speaker: Hi.
Good morning.
My name is Balara Capel and I work for an organization
called public health law and policy.
On behalf of the all the folks I work with,
I want to thank you for your firm commitment.
Obviously the president and the first lady's commitment but more
importantly also the task force's commitment.
And the work that we do involves this cost collaboration directly
in communities working with school districts partnering with
public health departments.
I do want to add that maybe the other things that the task force
might want to consider is actually the issue of land use
and public transportation.
How these types of planning decisions have a very real
impact on how much exercise people get in their daily lives,
or how close they live to grocery stores.
Or how close they live to a park.
I think maybe having that conversation with other members
of agencies, I know the EPA and DOT have this new sustainable
community's initiative.
I think they could add a great deal to the conversation.
So thank you.
Speaker: All right.
If people haven't checked it out yet, you can go to USDA's
website and we have a environmental food atlas.
That has been a part of the effort that is ongoing.
So communities can see where there may be food desserts,
problems of transport to get to certain foods,
what the availability is, it is a great new tool that we'll
continue to build upon.
It is there for people to start with if you are in a local
community and you want to begin work on this issue.
Speaker: Absolutely.
It is great to hear you talk about sustainable communities.
In my office and Peter's office have been working on that.
It is wonderful to hear when people know the work that you
are doing.
So thank you for that.
Why don't we go a little further back,
woman in the black sweater and pink top.
Tammy Albright: My name is Tammy Albright.
And I am director of MIT Collaborative Initiatives.
And I like what you have said about creating an environment
of healthy choices.
We just finished a two and a half year study with Columbia
university, through
the Earth Institute and The United Health Foundation.
And we have observed so many wonderful things that are
happening out across the country.
We studied what the gaps are and we have come to the conclusion
that all of these wonderful things that are going on,
it will be very hard to make them sustainable long term
unless we look at the food system and consider refocusing
the food system, so then a real systemic approach can perhaps
help all of the thing that are being done.
Thank you for what you are all doing.
Speaker: Thank you.
Why don't we go to the woman in the blue shirt and black suit.
I always feel like a fashion show.
Tony Yancy: Hi.
I am Tony Yancy.
I am a professor of Health Services at the UCLA School of
Public Health.
And board member of a partnership for a healthier America.
And I wanted to say that thanks to Brian's work and others,
people are talking a lot about behavioral economics of eating.
But we also need to think about the behavioral economics of
exercise and physical activity.
In fact there is no inherent drive for physical activity as
there is for eating, such that we will have great meeting with
lots of healthy refreshments where only 20 years ago we would
only have unhealthy refreshments or 30 years ago when people
would have been smoking in this room.
Now we need not to coop people up for hours on end without
physical activity.
Speaker: Yeah.
Speaker: Exercise is a regular part.
We in fact just conducted a systematic review of the
literature and found 40 articles that demonstrated the
effectiveness from a physical activities as well as cognitive
mood and other stand point of integrating short bouts of
physical activity into the regular work place,
school and church routines.
So I would just like to advocate that we have a project called
instant recess, but there is a energizers,
take ten -- (speaking in a foreign language).
Lots of others.
Speaker: I would like to say there is a lot of changing to that
positive conversation and having people to exercise because it is
fun, because they enjoy it.
You are not going to work out because if you don't
you are going to have a stroke in ten years.
You didn't go disco dancing because somebody said you had to exercise.
It was because we had fun.
You want to be able to build it back into our everyday lives.
We also want to get close to people and we don't have many
opportunities to get with people.
So if we could get moving and start to do things because they are fun.
Speaker: And on may 3rd, national physical activity plan will
be launched.
I know Dr. Benjamin, you may or may not be able to come to
National Press Club that day.
But WPFW radio station in all the Pacific stations throughout
the country will be broadcasting an instant recess break from 1
to 1:10PM eastern time which is 10 to 10:10AM on the west coast.
Speaker: There is a lot of enthusiasm for that here.
We are going to walk you across the street and introduce you to
someone and you can tell him we should get out more.
Speaker: Can I just add very quickly.
I could not agree more we need to be applying.
I think there is a growing literature on behavioral
economics on the calorie input side.
Output side there is some promising work,
but I don't think it is at built out.
For example, I never but I have never been able to find
empirical proof that very easy access to a gym or some kind of
a physical activity just like your instant recess makes
a huge difference.
Even if you have to walk four block toss a gym, huge drop off,
I suspect relative to a immediate access.
There is other ongoing research and unfortunately some of it is
not the way we would necessarily want our minds to work.
But for example, signing up for penalties that happen in a
public way or in a painful way.
[Inaudible] better than the carried approach.
The broader point is not that I have done that or anything.
Broader point is I think a lot more effort can go in that side
of the equation too.
And I am glad you brought that up.
Speaker: Well, we are going to have to split into our breakout groups
now, but this is -- there is such wonderful energy and
obviously people have so much to add to this conversation.
We are going to ask you to take that to the break out sessions.
And then we'll meet back here soon.
Just to let you know, the break out room numbers are on your name tags.
If you are going to two hundred level rooms,
you need to exit the door to the right.
Four hundred level rooms to your left and we will see you
back here shortly.
Thank you so much.