Groups Ask First Lady to Include “Outdoor in Nature” Component

Groups Ask First Lady to Include “Outdoor in Nature” Component
Dear Mrs. Obama:

On behalf of our tens of millions of members and supporters, we would like to express our sincere gratitude for your commitment to combating childhood obesity. We applaud your childhood obesity initiative for promoting improvements in school lunches, access to healthy foods, physical activity and nutrition education. While proper nutrition is necessary to solve the childhood obesity crisis, it is also important to engage youth and their families in healthy, lifelong activities. We urge you to promote and support a deep connection between children and the great outdoors by considering the addition of an “outdoors in nature” component, either as an element of your physical activity pillar or as a stand alone 5th pillar, to your childhood obesity initiative. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with your office to further discuss the initiative and the role that an “outdoors in nature” component might play in tackling childhood obesity.

Programs that encourage youth to get active in the great outdoors and projects that create the conditions that make nature-based outdoor play safe, healthy and fun are critical to setting children on a path towards healthier and happier lifestyles. These opportunities address what author Richard Louv has called “nature-deficit disorder”—and will go a long way to supporting children’s healthy development and overall well-being. Adding an “outdoors in nature” element to the initiative would more comprehensively address childhood obesity, while supporting additional benefits to children and the natural world. Efforts to engage children in nature-based and other…

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