Routine "recess" a hit at White House obesity summit
By JoAnne Allen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A doctor's endorsement of frequent recess breaks -- and not just for kids -- drew an appreciative response from experts meeting at a White House summit on childhood obesity on Friday.
Dozens of child advocates, public policy experts and doctors gathered to brainstorm ideas for first lady Michelle Obama's campaign to wipe out childhood obesity in a generation.
An interagency task force reviewing U.S. programs and policies on child nutrition and physical activity is due to report to President Barack Obama within the next month.
The summit participants were asked to come up with three to five recommendations for the task force to consider taking to the president.
Healthier foods in corporate cafeterias and linking public transportation to grocery store access were among the early suggestions.
But the audience especially appeared to appreciate a California doctor's call for a drive to integrate short bursts of physical activity into the regular workplace and school routine.
"We have great meetings with lots of healthy refreshments now, compared to 20 years ago when we would only have unhealthy refreshments, or 30 years ago when people would have been smoking in this room," said Dr. Toni Yancey of University of California Los Angeles.
"Now we need to not coop people up for hours on end without physical activity," Yancey continued as laughter erupted from colleagues in the windowless auditorium. Continued...