It Takes a Village to Get Kids Lean

Sally Squires

First Lady Michelle Obama is slated to be one of the speakers at the Partnership for a Healthier America’s first national summit opening today in Washington, DC. This sold-out conference, which is expected to draw some 600 people from the corporate, public health and policy sectors, is designed to showcase success and highlight new commitments from corporate partners to make the nation’s children leaner. 

A growing number of groups, from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the industry- supported Healthy Weight Commitment, have made ending childhood obesity a top priority. But it’s the Let’s Move program, launched by First Lady Michelle Obama, which often sets the national agenda. 

Let’s Move! isn’t set up to work with private partners, so the Partnership was created nearly a year ago to take on that task. The Partnership is independent, non-profit and non-partisan, but it works closely with the Let’s Move! program. The First Lady serves as its honorary chair. Among the Partnership’s honorary board members are Newark Mayor Cory Booker and former Senator and transplant surgeon Bill Frist.

At a recent Breakfast Club meeting at Powell Tate, Partnership CEO and President Lawrence A. Soler, gave a sneak peak at the national summit agenda, which includes four tracks of sessions to foster healthier environments in childcare, widen access to healthy food, increase physical activity and make schools healthier. 

Lack of cooking skills and cost are often cited as barriers to healthy food. The Summit plans to address those issues tonight with the Great American Family Dinner Challenge, one of the few Summit events open to media. James Beard Award winning chefs Tom Colicchio, Maria Hines, Holly Smith and Ming Tsai will compete to prepare a healthy dinner for a family of four for about $10. Their culinary creations will be judged by a handful of families. 

Also slated for the Summit, according to Soler, are announcements of new corporate partners. We plan to attend the Summit and will post updates here. 


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