ABC News’ Yunji de Nies reports:
Michelle Obama is calling on the country’s governors to help in the battle against childhood obesity.
“Let’s act. Let’s move. Let’s give our kids the future they deserve, ” she said in a speech, kicking off the annual winter meeting of the National Governors Association.
“There’s no place for politics when it comes to fighting childhood obesity,” Mrs. Obama said, “Because with a phone call or the stroke of a pen, you can determine whether a child can see a doctor or get a decent education or have a safe place to play, because you all are fighting the real battles every day on behalf of our kids, and you don’t have time for the fake battles.”
The first lady highlighted successful programs in several states to combat the problem, including Arkansas, with a nod to former Gov. Mike Huckabee.
“Arkansas started on the issue of childhood obesity way back in 2003 — something former Gov. Huckabee and I discussed yesterday when I appeared on his TV show,” the first lady said, “They screened students’ BMIs, which was controversial. They got healthier food into their schools and required regular physical education classes. And as a result, that state was able to halt the rise of childhood obesity completely.
The first lady’s interview airs tonight and will be her first on Fox News. The former Republican presidential candidate has waged his own, very public, battle of the bulge, losing more than 100 pounds as then-governor of Arkansas. He went on to write a book chronicling his experience, entitled, “Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork.”
Mrs. Obama said helping America’s children get healthy is not only the right thing to do, it makes financial sense at a time when health care expenses are straining state budgets. She noted that each state has its own unique challenges and characteristics, and encouraged the governors to think creatively.
“Folks in West Virginia have taken the lead in bringing ‘DDR’ — that’s ‘Dance, Dance Revolution’ — it’s a new video game that gets kids up and moving,” she said. “And let me tell you, I can attest to ‘Dance, Dance Revolution.’ We got it at Camp David, and it will make you sweat. And it is addictive in a very good way. The president still can’t do it.”
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