First lady Michelle Obama has begun a crusade against childhood obesity in America, an initiative that is welcomed in a country with a growing waistline.
This is not about looks, though. This is about health, problem-solving and social justice.
Studies indicating that one in three children in the United States is overweight or obese have become common knowledge amongst parents, teachers and doctors, and most of us know that childhood obesity greatly increases the risks of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other illnesses. Small changes to diet and lifestyle can drastically decrease children's risk of these illnesses due to obesity, and Obama said she intends to stress that fact.
While helping people to manage their weight, Obama will also be participating in a movement to preventative care in the American health care system. This means less people will likely develop the aforementioned illnesses due to causes of obesity, thereby saving our health care system space, time and money in the long run. You don't have to treat illnesses that don't exist.
Finally, Obama's campaign against obesity and overweight trends in children is really a campaign to change the country's mindset. While so many other countries in the world experience a crisis of lack, we have the privilege of experiencing a crisis of gluttony. That is not to say that the U.S. is without a hunger problem, but while some go hungry, others actually suffer from consuming too much.
In general, Americans seem to perpetuate a culture of overindulgence, and neither our government nor those who control the means of production try to check that. It is this culture of more, along with a seeming disregard for maintenance of health and a refusal from established institutions to make living healthy more viable, which Obama finds herself up against.
Hopefully, her work not only eliminates childhood obesity, but also contributes to the temperance of our culture of more and helps to establish an environment of continuous health consciousness. Two key aspects of the American mindset must change: there must be a movement from excess to moderation and we must address problems before they arise, not after.