Articles

Childhood Obesity Summit: Opening Session

October 24, 2019


[applause]. 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. [applause]. 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 move.gov. 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. [applause]. 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. Okay. 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. [applause]. 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. [laughter]. 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. [laughter]. 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. [laughter]. 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.

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