The nation's mayors are being asked by first lady Michelle Obama to join her campaign to reduce childhood obesity rates, which have tripled in the past 30 years.
About one in three American children is overweight and 17 percent are obese or dangerously overweight, according to the latest figures, the Associated Press reported.
"The statistics still never fail to take my breath away," Obama said in a speech Wednesday to a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. She noted that local leaders are among the first to notice what's happening to people in their communities.
Obama plans a major initiative to raise awareness about childhood obesity, with a formal rollout of her program planned for next month, the AP reported. The first lady said she'll seek help from educators, religious leaders, government, community and health centers, and businesses and nonprofit organizations.