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 Home > News & Policies > February 2007

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 1, 2007

President and Mrs. Bush Discuss Childhood Obesity
Roosevelt Room

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     Fact sheet Fact Sheet: Encouraging Child Fitness

9:20 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Laura and I are so pleased to welcome the Ad Council, as well as leaders from our business community, to talk about a serious American problem, and that is childhood obesity.

Childhood obesity is a costly problem for the country. It puts stress on American families. And we believe it is necessary to come up with a coherent strategy to help folks all throughout our society cope with the issue. And I appreciate the Secretary being here. Thanks for coming, Mr. Secretary.

Mrs. Laura Bush speaks to executives from the food, beverage and entertainment industries about child fitness during a meeting Thursday, Feb. 1, 2007, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.  White House photo by Eric Draper We'll discuss -- one of the strategies is to have the Ad Council put on an interesting series of ads encouraging children to exercise. One way for this nation to cope with the issue of obesity is to get people outside -- whether it be through sports or hiking or conservation. So we'll encourage them to do that, encourage parents to encourage their children to participate in the great outdoors. We'll also talk about healthy diet choices here.

And so I want to thank you all for coming. It's a serious issue that we take seriously here at the government.

Laura is off to New York to kick off the program to help deal with heart disease here. And you might want to say a few words.

MRS. BUSH: Well, I'm dressed in red a day early. Tomorrow is actually "Wear Red Day" for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Red Dress Project. And I'm wearing red because President Bush just signed the proclamation that makes February American Heart Month.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's focus is on American women, because American women -- the leading cause of death among American women and men is heart disease. And everything you're talking about today also relates to what we'll be talking about this afternoon and all day tomorrow with the Red Dress Project, because mothers are the ones, a lot of times, who make choices for their children. They make their choices on the foods they eat. They're the ones at home, many times, who encourage their children to exercise. And so when we reach, with the Red Dress Project, reach out to American women, we're also helping American children.

So I want to thank you all for all you're doing. I know -- I've heard some about the great ad campaign that you've got. I think children -- the goal to have children play an hour a day is a great goal. It's all -- something we'd all love to do, actually. So I want to thank you all very much for joining us, and I also want to encourage you to be a part of healthy eating. We know that obesity is one of the major risk factors for women and heart disease.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all.

END 9:23 A.M. EST