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Michelle Obama brings green thumb, campaign against childhood obesity, to 'Sesame Street'

September 30, 2009 |  8:37 am

First Lady Michelle Obama on Sesame Street

The numbers are frightening. Nearly 1 in 3 children, ages 2 to 19, are obese or overweight. Around the country, school districts scrapped for funds, have canceled recess. Kids being kids hit vending machines filled with fattening soft drinks, candy bars and snack foods.

So First Lady Michelle Obama is marking the 40th year of PBS' "Sesame Street" with an appearance on the Nov. 10 season-opening show geared at getting kids to grow -- and later eat -- vegetables.

"All these seeds need to grow are sun, soil and water," she says in the episode. "If you eat these healthy foods, you're going to grow up to be big and strong like me." Besides, she adds, "I know you're going to like these vegetables because, in addition to being healthy, they really taste great."

The White House says her participation is meant to promote healthy eating, healthy living and combat
childhood obesity. Maybe with President Obama's healthcare package in trouble, the first lady might also be an envoy for battling the costs sparked by obesity, estimated to add $61 billion a year to the healthcare tab.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: Richard Termine / Reuters

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