White House has plan to tackle childhood obesity - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

White House has plan to tackle childhood obesity

Posted: Updated:

(NBC) - A White House task force is tackling childhood obesity and says it's a problem that can be solved. Nearly one in three American children are now considered overweight or obese. The task force has a 70 plan to get the government, businesses and American families working together to help children get fit and stay that way.

First Lady Michelle Obama presented the plan, but says this is not something Washington can do alone.

Can America's childhood obesity epidemic be wiped out in a single generation? A White House task force led by Mrs. Obama says yes and has come up with a battle plan.

"No one gets off the hook on this one," said Mrs. Obama. "From governments to schools, corporations to nonprofit's, all the way down to families sitting around their dinner table."

The report ordered by President Obama outlines dozens of steps:

At home it means better food, more exercise and less time in front the tube. In neighborhoods, it calls for eradicating so-called "food deserts" where supermarkets and healthy food are hard to find. And at school, it means healthier menus, something which won't be cheap.

"Fruits, vegetables, whole grains are more expensive - and schools need those additional funds to make those improvements," said Diane Pratt-Heavner with the School Nutrition Association.

The President is asking congress for $1 billion to expand school breakfast and lunch programs. It was a cause that drew celebrity chef Rachel Ray to Washington.

"You know if the summer comes and goes, and we don't get this done, it's a whole other year our kids have to wait," said Ray.

It is a call to action from Washington for this nation's future.

While fixing the problem will take some serious investments, the White House estimates obesity related health care costs this country $150 billion a year.

(Copyright 2010 NBC News. All Rights Reserved.)