NEW YORK, Feb. 9 The following is a statement by PolicyLink CEO Angela Glover Blackwell:
"Reversing the childhood obesity epidemic will require the kind of clear-eyed and compassionate leadership Michelle Obama demonstrated today.
"As the First Lady stressed, too many of our children attend schools loaded with chips and soda -- and few healthy food options. For many black and Latino children, however, that bleak food landscape extends far beyond the school yard. Millions of poor children and children of color live in neighborhoods overrun by fast-food joints and corner stores -- with the closest fresh food store often two or three bus transfers away.
"If we expect our children to live healthier lives, we must create healthier communities for our children to live in -- places with access to fresh food, clean parks, safe streets, and clear air. The Obama Administration has already taken some meaningful steps toward creating healthier communities, including a $400 million proposed investment in the Health Food Financing Initiative to spur development of supermarkets and farmers markets in under-served communities.
"The recent steps by the First Lady and the Obama Administration are moving us all in a more healthy, sustainable direction. America's kids face the obesity crisis from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to sleep. We must make sure the places where they live and learn are filled with the nutritious options they need for a long, healthy life."