Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined First Lady Michelle Obama today to kick off Let’s Move — a new campaign to fight the childhood obesity epidemic and improve health and nutrition for our children.
Senator Gillibrand issued the following statement praising First Lady Obama’s leadership to put our children on a path to healthier, more successful future:
“First Lady Obama understands that child obesity is a crisis that our nation must urgently address.
“Every New York child deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. But too many of our children do not have access to the healthy, nutritious meals and exercise opportunities they need to get there.
“I’ve worked hard since day one to rid our schools of the unhealthy foods that hold our children back, and give all schools and families the resources they need to provide healthy, nutritious meals in the lunchroom so our children can succeed in the classroom.
“I am pleased to partner with First Lady Obama and my colleagues in Congress in this effort. I look forward to continue working with all of them to address this crisis and ensure the health of our future generations.”
Kicking off the Let’s Move campaign, First Lady Obama, members of the President’s cabinet and other community leaders voiced their support for legislation that Senator Gillibrand has introduced to ban sugary snacks and sodas from school vending machines and give students healthier choices for school meals.
Nearly 60 percent of New York adults are overweight or obese – with increasing numbers of children following the same path. Over the last 30 years, obesity among American children ages 6 to 11 has more than doubled – from 6.5 percent to 17 percent. In the same timeframe, obesity among 12 to 19-year-olds has more than tripled – from 5 percent to nearly 18 percent. Obesity puts children at serious risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression and poor performance at school.
As the fist New Yorker to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly 40 years, Senator Gillibrand has been fighting childhood obesity and working to improve childhood nutrition since day one, authoring legislation to ban trans fats from all school meals, give schools more federal resources to serve healthier, more nutritional meals and give families better access to better nutrition.