one-third as many chain supermarkets as other communities have. And a lot of
folks are working longer hours, working harder than ever before just to make
ends meet. So instead of making home-cooked meals, it's often easier to head to
the drive-thru or pop something in the microwave.
And as for physical activity, consider these statistics: Compared to white parents, nearly five times more Hispanic parents report that safety is a barrier to their kids being active. And Hispanic kids ages nine to 13 are only half as likely to participate in organized physical activity outside of school.
Sadly, all these changes in how we live and eat are having a devastating effect on our children's health. Right now, nearly 40 percent of Hispanic children in this country are overweight or obese. Nearly 50 percent are on track to develop diabetes -- 50 percent, half of our kids -- a disease that is already far too common in so many of our communities.
So while food might be love, the truth is that we are loving ourselves and our kids to death. So we need to step up. We need to own this as a serious problem in our communities. We need to admit that what we're doing simply isn't working anymore. And we need to start questioning the behaviors and beliefs that are making our kids sick -- like that uncle, dear uncle who dismisses this issue, but keeps slipping our kids candy; the grandmother who insists that a chubby baby is a healthy baby; the overworked sister who gives your nieces and nephews the foods they want instead of the nutrition they need. Because times have changed, and the way we live and eat has to change, too.
Now, that doesn't mean doing away with the traditions that make us who we are. Grandpa doesn't have to forsake his ribs. Abuela doesn't have to stop making that tres leches that everyone loves. Special occasions call for special foods. And treats, children, are an important part of childhood. Don't get me wrong. I'm not a treat hater.
They matter for adults as well.
For example, I eat a balanced diet and I work out every single day of the week with very few exceptions. But let me tell you something, while I am here in New Orleans today...
... everyone understand there is no way I am leaving this city without a good meal. No way. Not happening.
We don't have to completely deprive ourselves to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Instead, it's about striving for balance and moderation, doing our best to eat right and stay active in between the special occasions. And it's about empowering families with the information and resources they need to make healthy choices for their kids.
And that's why, three years ago, we launched Let's Move, as Janet said, a nationwide initiative to help all of our kids grow up healthy. And since then we have seen folks from every sector of our society, including many of you, stepping up to be a part of this movement. Organizations like NCLR have helped launch our MiPlato initiative to teach families about healthy eating. And companies like Goya are promoting that initiative. Yes! Yes!
We are grateful and proud.
And many other major American businesses like Walmart and organizations like the Food Trust, which is working right here in New Orleans, are bringing fresh food
Most Popular Stories
- Apple Wants Samsung to Pay $22M for Patent Dispute Legal Bills
- Twitter Coming to Phones Without Internet
- NASA Fellowships, Scholarships Bring Diversity to Workforce
- Dish Network Leads 2013 Top 50 Advertisers List
- Networks Vie for U.S. Hispanic TV Viewers
- Ad Counts Rise in 2013 for Hispanic Magazines
- Entravision Initiates Quarterly Cash Dividend
- Jobs Report Brings Cheer As Unemployment Drops to Five-year Low
- Warner Bros. Unleashes 'Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug' Merchandise
- Shanghai Smog Forces Factory Shutdowns