Almost 20 percent of Latino children are obese compared with only 12.6 percent of white children—a statistic that has prompted the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) to hold a congressional briefing on reducing childhood obesity, according to a NHMA statement.

The briefing was titled “Prevention Policies and Programs to Reduce Obesity Among Hispanic Children.” The topic is in line with the first lady’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, which aims to reduce childhood obesity.

“We are bringing experts to Congress to discuss strategies that work to reduce obesity among Hispanic children,” said Elena Rio, MD, president and CEO of the NHMA. “Our society needs to invest in prevention programs that reduce child obesity in our poorest communities.”

The briefing is one of many childhood obesity prevention programs and talks currently in the works. The Affordable Care Act, which was passed in March, supported major prevention programs to work with communities in order to bring down rates. And the Healthy Children Through School Nutrition Act and Physical Education to Create a Healthier Nation Act, which were introduced this summer, called for adding nutrition education to school lunch programs and making minimum physical education time a law.

Congress is also scheduled to vote on the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act that updates nutrition standards for items sold in school, increases lunch reimbursements, trains schools to serve healthier foods, expands after-school meals and pushes to enroll more low-income kids in free meal programs.

For the briefing, NHMA brought together directors from the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, the USDA, the Latino Infant Nutrition Initiative, and the New York Academy of Medicine.

For more information on the first lady’s “Let’s Move!” campaign and ideas on how to take the first steps toward lowering childhood obesity, click here.