WASHINGTON—First lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday launched "Let's Move," her biggest-ever campaign, one aimed at conquering childhood obesity within a generation.
Its roll-out came with the news of some early successes, highlighted by the first lady and her aides. Some key developments:
*The American Academy of Pediatrics will call on its physician-members to regularly monitor the body mass index for children age two years and older.
*Major suppliers of foods to school cafeterias have pledged to cut sugar, salt and fat and increase whole grains and produce.
*Some 40 executives of major food producers and agribusinesses, some from the Chicago area, indicated in an open letter they will join the first lady in promoting healthy eating.
Among the signers: Irene Rosenfeld, the CEO of Kraft Foods, based in Northfield, Illinois, and Brenda C. Barnes, the CEO of the Sara Lee Corporation, based in Downers Grove, Illinois.
The food executives noted that already they have developed more than 10,000 products featuring reduced fat, trans fat, sugar, salt and calories.
*Major media companies including the Walt Disney Company, NBC, Universal and Viacom had committed to join her effort by running public service announcement.
*Professional athletes will join the chorus of voices urging kids to put away the video games and recreate.
"This isn't about politics...I'm talking about commonsense steps we can take in our families and communities to help our kids lead active, healthy lives," Mrs. Obama said in a speech from the State Dining Room.
Earlier Tuesday in the Oval Office, President Barack Obama signed a memorandum on childhood obesity. He said it would trigger a 90-day plan that "provides optimal coordination" among federal agencies to fight the epidemic.
About one in three U.S. children is now considered obese or overweight, meaning the country leads the developed world in the problem, said Judith Palfrey, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The effort has a Web site, LetsMove.gov.