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By Kimberly Reed, Executive Director,International Food Information Council Foundation  Date: 2/10/12
 
 
I would like to wish Let's Move!, First Lady Michelle Obama's initiative dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation, a very happy second birthday.
 
The First Lady celebrated this anniversary in Iowa with 14,000 students. She highlighted an important concept in combatting obesity – energy balance (“calories in” should equal “calories out”) – when she led the crowd in dancing the “Interlude” (a dance that originated at the University of Northern Iowa). The First Lady also emphasized that “you do not have to be the President of the United States, you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete, to make exercise a regular part of your life.”
 
Energy balance has been a focus of the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation since our founding in 1991. Our websites www.foodinsight.org and www.kidnetic.com and consumer-friendly information outline effective strategies to help improve the health and well-being of children, their families and communities.
 
And, by partnering with efforts like Let’s Move (the IFIC Foundation was honored to participate in the White House’s first ever Let’s Move! tweetup) and the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (www.togethercounts.com and www.energybalance101.com), we maximize our ability to help consumers on their personal paths to success in achieving a healthful, active lifestyle. 
 
Energy balance also is an important concept to communicate on the global stage, especially as leaders from around the world are addressing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) that are often associated with poor diet and physical inactivity, including cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer and type 2 diabetes.
 
During our recent IFIC Foundation Global Diet and Physical Activity Communications Summit: “Insights to Motivate Healthful, Activity Lifestyles,” which focused on NCD solutions, U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin stressed that communicators should provide clear, simple information based on the latest science to allow individuals to make healthful choices for themselves and for their families. She also noted that by sharing strategies among nations, we will foster international cooperation to promote healthful behavior and healthful choices.
 
Noting the U.S. Surgeon General’s comments on the importance of sharing ideas and promoting multisectoral partnerships, the IFIC Foundation’s Global Summit featured an initiative which is making an impact in Mexico under the leadership of Mexico’s First Lady, Lic. Margarita Zavala. The Mexican government, in partnership with NGOs and industry, established a special “children teaching children” initiative – Amigo de Mí (“Friend of Myself”) – to promote children’s health, nutrition, and exercise.
 
Click on the following webpages and read the song lyrics below and you will see how localized, fun energy balance messages and activities can inspire not only 14,000 students in Iowa gathered with Mrs. Obama, but also students throughout Mexico: http://amigodemi.com.mx/videos.php and
 
 
“Don’t Stop” by Amigo de Mí
After all, you will know
And you won’t regret
Having lived this experience
Feel your body working
Your muscles make you move
Blood runs through your veins
Don’t Stop
 
Action is always there!
And it gets better when you share it
That’s why we tell you…
…from the bottom of our hearts
Don’t Stop
You know you have the strength
Don’t Stop
Together we will both win!
  
The closing words on the video that accompanies this song are “Inicia tu movimiento,” or, when translated into English, are “Start your move!” 
 
Happy 2nd birthday, Let’s Move! May we all join together now to “Start our Move!”

 

 

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