The healthy school lunches touted by Michelle Obama have not been popular. (RELATED: Kentucky students to first lady Michelle Obama: Your food ‘tastes like vomit’)
The complex body of meal regulations implemented by the Department of Agriculture under the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010” has long been a signature issue for the first lady—at least until just last week when the USDA permanently abandoned the act’s ironic limitations on kids’ caloric intake of protein and carbohydrates.
Michelle Obama’s other signature issue — the Let’s Move! campaign to combat childhood obesity — also looks to be rapidly heading to the ash heap of history.
The Let’s Move! campaign was announced in 2010. Its ambitious goal: to solve the obesity problem in America within a generation.
So far, things aren’t going well. The latest data on kid fitness suggests that 3 in 4 kids aged 12 to 15 fail to meet the federal government’s minimum recommendations of an at least an hour of vigorous activity each day, reports an Associated Press at WNYW.
The data comes from a 2012 National Youth Fitness Survey of about 800 teens and preteens. The kids self-reported their own physical activity. They also submitted to physical exams.
Federal researchers would not express disappointment in a statistic showing that fully 75 percent of American kids don’t do a bare minimum of exercise each day.
“There’s always room for improvement,” said Tala Fakhouri, an optimistic scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who was the lead author of the study.
The kids who participated in the survey kept track of the physical activities in which they took part outside of gym class at school.
Most of the kids reported that they spent at least an hour the entire previous week doing some activity that made their breath heavy and their heart rate go up. However, only 25 percent performed that kind of exercise on a daily basis.
For boys, basketball was the most popular activity. For girls, it was running.
Not very surprisingly, taxpayer-funded researchers discovered that obese kids are less active than kids who aren’t fat. The relationship between extra pounds and lack of movement is substantially more noticeable among boys.
“It’s definitely very concerning to see that our kids are engaging in such a limited amount of physical activity each day when we are still battling” the national obesity problem, said Stephen Pont, chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ section on obesity, according to the Associated Press.