Regina Benjamin

Former Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin told Washington Post Live editor Mary Jordan, "We have to put the joy back into being healthy." "Good food doesn't have to taste bad," she said at the 2013 Childhood Obesity Summit. (The Washington Post)
September 27, 2013

Nearly one in three American children are overweight or obese. But after decades of rising rates, we may be turning a corner on the health crisis. Experts across fields gathered at Washington Post Live’s 2013 Childhood Obesity Summit to discuss strategies resulting in healthier children.

Regina Benjamin, 18th surgeon general of the United States

One thing I know works is if we can increase the number of women who breast-feed and support them, because we know that a baby who is exclusively breast-fed for the first six months of life is less likely to become obese.

We have to put the joy back in being healthy. Good food doesn’t have to taste bad. We can make it taste good. We, as consumers, can ask for healthy things. We can start putting that fun label on things. We can dance. We can enjoy ourselves. One of the programs that I announced back in March was an “Every Body Walk” campaign — now a collaborative of 40 organizations. We can’t expect people to walk if we can’t give them a place that’s safe to walk. We have to have sidewalks. We have to have lighted places.

You can do it at lunch. You can do it on the way to work. You can have a “soul stroll,” and just stroll.

We have the safe routes to schools where they have the “walking school buses” — where parents walk the kids to school. Instead of having that long car-pool line.

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