Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Last week, first lady Michelle Obama kicked off an initiative. "Let's Move," addressing the problem of childhood obesity.

While our representatives in Washington are at a stalemate over health care "reform," the bigger problem over the long term is the state of our nation's health. No matter how we may change the health care system, we will have failed if we do not fix the underlying health crisis. Moving more unhealthy people into a better system of health care is not the answer.

The Letsmove.gov website states: "We spend $150 billion every year to treat obesity-related conditions, and that number is growing. ... Obesity rates tripled in the past 30 years, a trend that means, for the first time in our history, American children may face a shorter expected lifespan than their parents."

The answer is more healthy people who will be happier and more productive and will need less health care

How do we get there?

The answer, according to the current administration, is a new commission.

Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution

The objectives of the commission's task force include "ensuring access to healthy, affordable food; increasing physical activity in schools and communities; providing healthier food in schools; and empowering parents with information and tools to make good choices for themselves and their families."

Good objectives -- but is a government commission the way to achieve them?

If only a new commission would lead to a solution to our country's problems. If only it were that easy.

People need to be inspired to take individual responsibility and action. (Might be a good time to remember that Social Security is going bankrupt and the government is running huge deficits. More government might not be the answer.)

Six years ago, as we were trying to decide where to send our oldest child, I called the neighborhood public school and asked if the students had recess every day. I knew that my daughter would not be able to sit and pay attention for seven-and-a-half hours without running and playing outside for part of that time. Thrilled to hear that the principal had retained recess while other schools had cut it to focus on academics, we enrolled her.


Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.