CBSN

Ferguson Encourages Child Fitness

Miss Puerto Rico Mayra Matos, left, rolls a cigar as fellow contestants of the Miss Universe 2009 beauty pageant, Miss Jamaica Carolyn Yapp, right, Miss Hungary Suzan Budai, second right, and Miss South Africa Tatum Keshwar look on during their visit to the Humidor Cigar Factory in Nassau, Bahamas, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009.
AP Photo/Tim Aylen
For the past five years, Sarah Ferguson, The Duchess of York, has served as the U.S. spokesperson for Weight Watchers, encouraging people to lose weight and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Ferguson tells The Early Show that over the past week she has traveled across America recounting her own battle with weight and encouraging parents to be healthy role models for their children.

In 2001, Weight Watchers and the American Health Foundation launched a campaign to help parents learn to serve as healthy role models for their children and guide them to good habits and good health. They published a brochure entitled "Getting Kids to Eat Well & Be Active" that details good approaches for parents to use.

The Duchess says she joined the campaign because of her own children, Princess Beatrice Elizabeth Mary of York and Princess Eugenie Victoria Helena of York, and she doesn't want young people to go through the obesity she suffered to make herself feel better.

When the Duchess was 12 years old, her parents divorced and her mother moved away. She says that's when her pattern of comfort eating began. Unhealthy habits became the root of her weight problem.

Ferguson believes today's world doesn't encourage children to take part in physical activities and eating right. She points to a statistic that shows one in four children will be overweight in this country, leading to obesity.

The spokesperson first joined Weight Watchers in 1997. She reached her goal weight in December 1997 and became a Weight Watchers Lifetime Member in January 1998.

The Duchess will publish a new book in 2003 entitled: "What I Know Now: 50 Simple Lessons Learned the Hard Way."