Saying childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years, first lady Michelle Obama asked the nation’s mayors to help her battle an epidemic that could see today’s kids lead shorter lives than their parents.
Obama, speaking before the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said no matter how much she’d read and thought about the problem of obesity among young people, the pertinent statistics “never fail to take my breath away.”
She said nearly one-third of U.S. children now are overweight or obese. She said one-third of today’s children eventually will suffer from diabetes, and, in the African American and Latino communities, the proportion will be almost half.
Obesity, she said, “could now be an even greater threat to America’s health than smoking.” And if the nation stays on its current path, nearly 50 percent of all Americans will be obese in 10 years - “not just overweight, but obese.”
“This isn’t the kind of problem that can be solved in one year, or even one administration,” according to Obama, who is expected to unveil an anti-obesity initiative next month. “But make no mistake about it, this is a problem that can be solved.”
Michelle Obama’s Anti-Obesity Plan