Michigan Governor wants to document state's child obesity stats

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has announced plans to begin asking doctors, practicing in Michigan, to start monitoring the body weight of patients 18 and under.

Under the proposal, revealed during an event in Lansing on Wednesday, the data would be entered into a Michigan Care Improvement Registry in the hopes of addressing the state's growing pediatric obesity problem.

The AP says about 800,000 Michigan children are considered overweight or obese based on height and weight, 12 percent of the total.

The Governor's plan would require the information be stored anonymously, but according to the Governor's office, would give doctors the perfect opportunity to address concerns about obesity with a patient and their caregiver.

Snyder says he too could also stand to lose a few pounds and he is willing to shed the extra weight if it means being a good role model.

Snyder told NBC affiliate WOOD-TV, "It's time we do something and as part of being Governor, this isn't about formal governing, this is about being a role model and a leader and we all need to improve our wellness. I'm overweight. I need to lose some weight and I'm willing to put myself out there as a good role model and say I need to do better."

The American Academy of Pediatrics, is already working with First Lady Michelle Obama efforts to reduce childhood obesity.

According to the AP, the National Institutes of Health is also funding research programs to see if pediatricians, in the 20 minutes they generally have with a patient in their office, can make a difference in patients' behavior by offering advice on better eating and exercise habits.