Bill Clinton Back to Work, Combating Childhood Obesity

Clinton holds press conference just days after heart surgery.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Chris Hondros/Staff
    Former U.S. president Bill Clinton answers a question at a press conference about a childhood health initiative February 17, 2010 in New York City. Clinton recently underwent a heart procedure tied to his major bypass surgery of 2004.

    Just days after undergoing surgery to unclog a blocked artery, former president Bill Clinton is officially back to work -- speaking out against childhood obesity.

    Today, Clinton held a press conference about the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation.

    "Its a good time for me to talk about because everybody knows that I went to the doctor last week for a little tune-up on my heart bypass surgery which occurred in 2004," he said.

    Last Thursday, Clinton was taken to New York Presbyterian-Columbia University Medical Center to have two stents implanted to prop open the partially blocked artery.

    “The root cause of this was habits that I acquired in my childhood,” he said, opening the talk about childhood obesity.

    Clinton also commended Michelle Obama on her recently launched “Let’s Move” campaign to combat childhood obesity, saying he wants “to wait and see” what she does because she could be more relatable to children than he would be.

    The First Lady’s initiative is focused on improving the nutrition of school meals, promoting exercise, helping people make healthier choices, and providing healthy affordable food.

    Clinton and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation seeks to carry out these same goals to help children reverse the unhealthy effects of obesity.

    “It’s not just about buying smaller clothes, it’s about what's going on inside your body that people cannot see,” he said.

    In response to suggestions that he slow down following his surgery, Clinton said he has started to take better care of himself by getting more sleep and exercising daily, but he remains committed to working as hard as he can.

    Speaking in Harlem, Clinton said he would like to see his healthy kids campaign spread to every school district, “so that people like me four years from now, don’t have to stand in front of crowds like you and explain why they had to have their heart fixed.”