Following an executive order by President Barack Obama, the new President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition is off and running--and ready to take on the childhood obesity epidemic.
The panel, formerly known as the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, was announced by First Lady Michelle Obama in a ceremony at Bell Multicultural High School in Washington, D.C. Its expanded goals will include a focus on healthy eating as well as active lifestyles. In concert with the First Lady's "Let's Move" initiative, the council's work will increase White House efforts to build a healthier America.
A White House announcement said the president would appoint prominent sports figures, medical professionals and fitness experts, including RWJF president and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A. The council will be co-chaired by New Orleans Saints star quarterback Drew Brees and Dominique Dawes, the three-time Olympian and former U.S. women's gymnastics national champion.
In addition to Lavizzo-Mourey and the co-chairs, the 2010 council is to include:
- Dan Barber, New York-based chef and co-owner of Blue Hill restaurant
- Former New England Patriot Tedy Bruschi
- Allyson Felix, Olympic gold medal track and field sprint athlete
- Champion figure skater Michelle Kwan
- Grant Hill, professional basketball player with the Phoenix Suns
- Curtis Pride, head baseball coach at Gallaudet University and a retired Major League Baseball player
- Chris Paul, professional basketball player and team captain for the New Orleans Hornets
- Tennis star Billie Jean King
- Fitness instructor Donna Richardson Joyner
- Ian Smith, prominent healthy-living advocate
- Championship NASCAR driver Carl Edwards
- Cornell McClellan, fitness consultant and personal trainer for President Obama and the First Lady
- Stephen McDonough, pediatrician and former North Dakota Department of Health official
In her remarks, Mrs. Obama acknowledged the council's new goals: “The council will play an important role in our effort to help combat childhood obesity in this country, and I am grateful to the athletes, chefs, doctors and nutrition experts who are volunteering their time on the council to help make a difference.”