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Michelle Obama Visits Upper West Side To Help Announce Major Donation

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The First Lady visited the Upper West Side to announce a $500 million donation to expand efforts to end childhood obesity.

The money comes from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which is pushing educators and families to serve healthier food and organize more exercise. The new funding will build on a $500 million commitment the foundation made in 2007 to the cause, CBS2 reported.

The announcement was made Thursday afternoon at the Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School, 140 W. 102nd St., which opened its kitchen and bicycle spin room to Michelle Obama.

``Together, we started a national conversation on this issue and we're seeing changes at every level from individual schools to families to the halls of Congress,'' she said, adding that average obesity rates have stopped rising, or even dropped among the youngest children.

Obama said she chose to visit the high school because it already is serving healthier meals under the leadership of Principal Jean McTavish, who teaches some of the early morning spin classes.

``What's going on here?'' the first lady asked several student cooks, smiling as she examined their ingredients lined up on a counter.

They were preparing to whip up smoothies using ingredients including carrot juice, coconut water, fresh pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, kale and walnuts.

``That's pretty special,'' she said.

The first lady was especially curious about the coconut water. She asked what its value is versus regular water.

Minutes later, she strolled into the spin room, filled with students already pumping the bicycle pedals.

``You guys like spinning?'' she asked.

The answer was nonverbal: They all started spinning faster as she clapped rhythmically and danced briefly to the music.

``That's great!'' she said, adding later, ``But we still have a long way to go.''

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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