WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama Monday signed into law school nutrition legislation at the center of his wife's campaign to end childhood obesity.
Calling the Healthy, Hungry-free Kids Act of 2010 "vitally important" to the health and welfare of the nation's young people, Obama said, "We need to make sure that our kids have the energy and the capacity to go toe to toe with their peers anywhere in the world."
The bill-signing ceremony was at Harriet Tubman Elementary School in Washington.
He said the bill won't add to the deficit because funds are offset by rolling back some Food Stamp funding beginning in 2013, and he pledged to restore the funds in the future.
First lady Michelle Obama noted the strong bipartisan support the bill had in Congress.
"While we may sometimes have our differences, we can all agree that in the United States of America, no child should go to school hungry," she said. "We can all agree that in the wealthiest nation on earth, all children should have the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow and to pursue their dreams."
The Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act of 2010 will improve the quality of school breakfasts, lunches and other foods sold in schools, the White House said in a background document. It also will improve nutrition programs for young children, including the federally funded Women, Infants and Children program, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
The Obama administration has pledged to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation, a cause championed by Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative.
By far the loudest response came when Obama joked that if he didn't get the legislation through Congress and signed into law, "I'd be sleeping on the couch."