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Teachers College, Columbia University
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TC's Basch Participates in White House Meeting on "Let's Move" Initiative

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Chuck Basch with U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin

Charles Basch, Richard March Hoe Professor of Health Education, was one of a small group of people from around the nation to participate in a meeting at the White House on April 9th that focused on First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign to prevent childhood obesity.

The meeting was convened to provide the President’s Task Force on Childhood Obesity with the opportunity to hear from experts and practitioners about the extent and causes of childhood obesity in the and to gather input for its action plan to solve the problem within a generation. That plan is due on the President’s desk this month.

Others participating in the meeting included Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education; Ken Salazar, U.S. Secretary of the Interior; Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy U.S. Secretary of Agriculture; Regina Benjamin, U.S. Surgeon General; Peter Orszag, Director of the Office of Management and Budget; and White House Domestic Policy Advisor Melody Barnes, who chairs the President’s Task Force. In all, there were some 100 participants representing universities, foundations and other non-profits and trade organizations, encompassing expertise on child health, nutrition, physical activity and obesity.

In February, Basch presented findings from his meta-study, “Healthier Students Are Better Learners: A Missing Link in Efforts to Close the Achievement Gap,” which documents the disproportionate impact of seven major health conditions -- vision; asthma; teen pregnancy; aggression and violence; physical activity; breakfast; and inattention and hyperactivity – upon the academic achievement of urban minority youth. The study also articulates a vision for a nationally coordinated effort to improve the health of young people, using the nation’s schools as a focal point. Basch reiterated that vision during his attendance at the White House meeting.

To learn more about the meeting, visit http://www.grist.org/i/assets/2/WhiteHouseChildhoodObesitySummitNotes.pdf
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