First Lady Leads Childhood Obesity Fight

First lady Michelle Obama
First lady Michelle Obama exercises with a hula hoop during a healthy kids fair on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009.
AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari

First Lady Michelle Obama has launched a campaign to call attention to a serious epidemic - childhood obesity. One out of three U.S. children is overweight or obese and Mrs. Obama is working hard to scale down that number, as CBS News correspondent Seth Doane reports.

Since she moved into the White House, the "First Mom" has tried to set a good example - from getting kids to help her plant vegetables to hula-hooping with the best of them.

Today, Mrs. Obama formalized her mission to put an end to childhood obesity within a generation with a national campaign called "Let's Move."

"It wasn't that long ago that I was a working mom struggling to balance meetings and deadlines with soccer and ballet," Mrs. Obama said Tuesday. "There were some nights that everyone was just tired and hungry and we just went to the drive-thru because it was quick and cheap."

Now she wants to help parents nationwide. Her strategy:

- Helping consumers make nutritious choices by working with food companies to place nutrition information like calorie counts on the front of packaging

- Making the meals offered in schools healthier, with fewer fats and more produce

- Finding ways at school and home to help kids exercise at least 60 minutes a day

- And improving access to healthy and affordable food in underserved areas through tax credits and incentives.

Fifteen-year-old Emily Allen, who's worked hard to lose 26 pounds in the last six months, thinks that a national focus on eating right and exercising can only help.

How tough has it been for Emily to make changes to lose weight and improve her health?

"It's not too bad," she said. "It just takes some getting used to."

If the first lady gets her way it'll become easier for many more kids to be healthy too.