Presidential Run: Obama and Biden Get Active for ‘Let’s Move!’

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are on the run — literally. The dash by the nation’s leaders has nothing to do with the Republicans in Congress; instead, they’re participating in a video for “Let’s Move!” or First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity.

The First Lady promised on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon that if enough people showed her, and the nation, how they moved on social media platforms using “#LetsMove,” the President and Vice President would show the nation their moves.

The video opens with President Obama sitting behind his desk in the Oval Office. As he flips through papers, Biden enters the room asking  ”Mr. President, you ready to move?” The President is game, and the two set off on a jog around the White House. Pumped up by a previous theme song for Monday Night Football, the cameras follow the men in their dress slacks, white shirts, and blue ties. The run ends with a return to the Oval Office. Back in their working environment, Biden and Obama drink down a glass of water a piece; “Otherwise,” Obama told Biden, “we are going to be in trouble with Jill and Michelle.”

The appearance by the First Lady on Fallon kicked off a week of celebratory events meant to further raise awareness, and mark the fourth anniversary of the Let’s Move! campaign. Let’s Move! was created to be an inclusive approach to stopping childhood obesity within a generation. By arming children with the tools they need for a healthy lifestyle now, the hope is they will grow up making better choices that promote overall wellness.

As a result, the campaign does not center only on exercise and moving, and there are five pillars identified on the website. In addition to getting the nation to be more active, the campaign wants to increase access to healthy food that is also affordable, having more nutritious options in schools, empowering caregivers and parents, and starting children off on the right track.

Childhood obesity has serious implications later in life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that obese children are more likely to be obese, or overweight as adults. This puts them at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. The obesity rate among children is more than double today what it was 30 years ago.

However, a new report offers some hope. Based on CDC data on obesity, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that there was a statistically significant decline in obesity for 2 to 5 year olds. The rate fell from about 12 percent in 2009/2010 to just over 8 percent in 2011/2012.

“We continue to see signs that, for some children in this country, the scales are tipping. This report comes on the heels of previous CDC data that found a significant decline in obesity prevalence among low-income children aged 2 to 4 years participating in federal nutrition programs,” CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. said in a press release by the CDC responding to the study. “This confirms that at least for kids, we can turn the tide and begin to reverse the obesity epidemic.”

The First Lady weighed in as well. “I am thrilled at the progress we’ve made over the last few years in obesity rates among our youngest Americans,” she said. “With the participation of kids, parents, and communities in Let’s Move! these last four years,  healthier habits are beginning to become the new norm.”

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