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National Wildlife Federation Says Outdoor Time for Kids Can Help First Lady Achieve Her “Let's Move” Goal
Date:2/9/2010

First Lady Michelle Obama today launched a major campaign to address childhood obesity, a risk factor for a number of chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and sleep apnea.

Washington, DC (Vocus) February 9, 2010 -- First Lady Michelle Obama today launched a major campaign to address childhood obesity, a risk factor for a number of chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and sleep apnea.

“Time unplugged and playing outside in nature should be an integral part of the First Lady’s initiative,” said Rebecca Garland, Executive Director of NWF’s Be Out There campaign

"Best of all, getting children outside for unstructured play time comes at no cost. Parents just need to open up the back door and let kids do what comes naturally,” continued Garland. “Leave those unwanted pounds in the backyard, at a local park, or anywhere there is a patch of green."

The health cost of obesity in the United States could be as high as $147 billion annually, according to a study from the Research Triangle Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Children who play outdoors are more active and burn more calories than kids who sit in front of a television or computer. Last week, National Wildlife Federation (NWF), more than 200 health, conservation, youth, and other organizations, and 16,300 Americans urged Surgeon General Regina Benjamin to make time outdoors a health priority for children. A copy of the letter and petition are available at www.BeOutThere.org.

The citizen’s petition and letter of support to Dr. Regina Benjamin recommend a “Call to Action” to promote the health benefits of children who engage in regular unstructured out
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