“Let’s Move” How Healthy Are You and Your Military Family? – DoD Roundtable

We see it everyday! Sometimes in our own mirror, in family members, at the Exchange, at church/chapel, around town, while visiting family and at the doctor’s office: Many Americans including our children are overweight! We need to get active! The “Let’s Move” campaign is a national effort to improve our health and we need to get going! As the military order goes, “Move Out” on this one!

“She said the campaign was focusing on three targets: Diet, Activity and Screen Time.”

I am encouraged by the interest of our country’s leaders taking a stand because this is becoming a health care issue with record numbers of childhood diabetes, adult onset diabetes and other complications from carrying those extra pounds. It is becoming a national security issue as well! Many potential recruits are not qualified due to their weight!! They may be great at computer games but not at physical activities that our service members need to be in order to accomplish the mission. Yesterday, MilitaryAvenue met with Ms. Barbara Thompson, Director of Office of Family Policy, Children & Youth at Military Community and Family Policy during the DoD Bloggers’ Roundtable to discuss the military version of the program. She said the campaign was focusing on three targets: Diet, Activity and Screen Time.

All three make perfect sense to improve our health! I love activity and have learned to enjoy more vegetables in my diet but fortunately never had the urge or time to do a lot of TV watching (maybe it was the AFRTS commercials overseas that helped me make that choice). However, I have become due to my new line of work, a computer junkie! The more screen time, the less activity time! The more sugar and fat in your diet, with reduced activity means weight gain for all of us.

This is not an easy issue for our military families but Ms. Thompson offered a number of ideas and resources and MilitaryAvenue has some as well in our Reading Room and blogs! The DoD Family Centers on military installations are a ready resource with information and classes on diet with curriculum focusing on the campaign. New policies include providing military the community with gardening plots on the installation, etc. Do you like to get your fingers in the dirt? Garden plots on the installations are going to be available for the military community to grow your own vegetables! In the civilian community? Turn a small piece of your yard into a garden and teach your children the fun of planting, caring for and picking their own food! It beats a Happy Meal a day anytime!

I asked if the program had any additional funding to help spread the word and Thompson said no, they were drawing on previous funds, US Department of Agriculture and Land Grant Universities for curriculum and materials! Military One Source has a teen program, “I Can Thrive” and installation youth programs are partnering with Boys/Girls Clubs, 4 H Clubs and others. School lunches are being evaluated and sugary drinks are being removed from vending machines. Have you heard of 5210?

Five (5) fruits/vegetables a day, a maximum of two (2) hours of screen time (TV or computer games), one (1) hour of exercise and zero (0) sugar drinks! Great standards and goals for parents to help their children be healthier and better citizens! Parents are the key to this campaign! “Let’s Move” relies on parents to be motivated about their own health and their family’s as well! We would never wish for our children to be obese or give them an illness but without the tools and discipline that parents can provide that is what America looks like! Lets turn that around! Here is a great list of articles for more information from MilitaryAvenue to help you get started! Oh, and one more thought! Feeling stressed? Exercise is one of the best stress relievers available so take that walk today to get started!

DOD Takes Steps to Combat Childhood Obesity –

First Lady Michelle Obama Visits Fort Jackson –

TRICARE Encourages Military Kids to “Move” on Childhood Obesity –

Family Matters Blog: Childhood Obesity Hits Home for Blogger –

TRICARE Schools Parents on Nutrition with Article Series –

Pentagon Urges Employees to ‘Leap’ Into Fitness-

A Snow Day Workout for TRICARE Kids

Coping with stress –

If you would like to listen or read a transcript of this very informative Roundtable with Ms. Thompson, please go to DoDLive!

Photo Credits:

Family trip to Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids Michigan

Vegetables from the family garden and local farmers market home canned for freshness and vitamin retention

Wild blackberries and lettuce from family garden

A winter family hike on the Lake Michigan shorelinebyColonel KonWednesday, April 20, 2011Military Life:,,

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