GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla.-- The fight to win the battle of the bulge in Clay County is on.
"Childhood obesity is definitely a problem we have to work together to combat," Registered Dietitian Elise Fenstermaker said.
The word "problem" is an understatement. According to the Centers for Disease Control, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. To help, President Obama signed a new guideline into law requiring kids in Clay County and public schools across the country to eat healthier.
"This is actually the first time a change has been made in 15 years. Every student now has to have a half-cup of fruit or half-cup of vegetables when they come through the serving line," Fenstermaker continued.
And that's not all. Most districts are pushing more activity on the playground. The Clay County Health Department also tests body-mass index to see if students are within a healthy weight range.
The results are shared with parents, and functions like an obesity report card. P.E. teachers say it's valuable in more ways than one.
"I think it's so important. It's really cool, because parents can kind of gauge where their kids are at," John Tillman said.
Clay County just launched its 11th annual nutrition and fitness challenge. At the end of the year, participating students in the district are entered in a drawing to win a bike.