Save the Children, Let's Move! Galvanize Faith Groups in Fight against Childhood Obesity

Save the Children Joined First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House Event Celebrating Community Efforts to Keep America's Kids Healthy and Active

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 7, 2013) — Save the Children was at the White House today, celebrating the achievements of faith groups in the fight to end childhood obesity in their communities. Director of Save the Children's Campaign for Healthy Kids, Andrew Hysell, was among the featured speakers at the event, which was organized by First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move Faith and Communities initiative.

"All faith leaders, regardless of denomination, care equally about the welfare of children. Save the Children's Campaign for Healthy Kids has teamed up with Let's Move Faith and Communities to harness that common concern," said Hysell. "The time has come for the faith community to present a unified front and promote a shared goal to end obesity on behalf of children nationwide."

"Save the Children and the Campaign for Healthy Kids is proud to partner with First Lady Michelle Obama and Let's Move Faith and Communities. We thank Mrs. Obama and the faith-based communities across the country for coming together to do this urgent work," said Hysell, who joined a number of prominent speakers at the event, including the First Lady; White House Assistant Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives, Sam Kass; and two-time Olympic gold medalist Garrett Weber-Gale.

The childhood obesity epidemic is a crippling national disease in America, where one in three children and adolescents is diagnosed as obese or overweight. As a result, for the first time in modern history, this generation of children could expect to live shorter lives than their parents. But faith and community leaders are a potent antidote to this crisis. Grounded in their respective beliefs, people of faith can join forces in urging our lawmakers and national leaders to do more to combat childhood obesity.

Today's White House event recognized the extraordinary efforts of faith-based, neighborhood organizations to improve the health of children in their communities and honored the winner of the Communities on the Move video challenge: Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church. It also introduced a new initiative promoting physical activity among kids, Let's Move Active Schools.

"Save the Children is very excited about the new Let's Move Active Schools Initiative and looks forward to continuing our partnership with the First Lady and our national network of faith leaders," said Hysell. "Our combined efforts will ensure an outcome for this and future generations of children that is greater than the sum of its parts."

Save the Children's Campaign for Healthy Kids works with the faith community — through our Faith United to End Childhood Obesity initiative — to advance policy change in all 50 states. Faith United includes a wide variety of faith groups, representing diverse views and perspectives, but united by a desire to promote children's health through changes in policy and practice.

Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children in need, with programs in 120 countries, including the United States. We aim to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives by improving their health, education and economic opportunities. In times of acute crisis, we mobilize rapid assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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