Obesity is the number one health concern in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But why has it become so prevalent over the years, and what is the solution to a healthier future for Americans?

Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director, National Institutes of Health, says genetics is a factor in obesity. David Altshuler, M.D. Ph.D., Geneticist and Endocrinologist, Massachusetts General Hospital adds that environment is another important factor. Access to fresh healthy food as well as safe neighborhoods and parks has a tremendous impact on good health.

Obesity is a complex problem for which many scientists, medical professionals and policymakers search for solutions. But not all solutions or ideas about obesity pan out. Banning sweetened beverages larger than 16 ounces in the city of New York won’t make a dent in obesity. Nor will taxing soft drinks, as is being proposed in two California cities.  It’s nonsense to think that laws and regulations can lead to a healthy lifestyle. Americans know better, even if the politicians don’t.

The Partnership for a Healthier America's End Childhood Obesity Innovation Challenge knows that great ideas can come from anyone, not just doctors and scientists. Parents, teachers, kids, organizations and businesses have good ideas that they don’t always know how to implement. So the Partnership has issued a creative challenge to solicit your ideas about how to help children live healthier lives. Most importantly, they will help the winner of the challenge turn the idea into a working solution.

Childhood obesity is a serious health risk. There’s no one easy solution, but by engaging in a national “brainstorming” session, the Partnership for a Healthier America is guaranteed to get practical ideas from real people to reverse the trend.

If you have an idea, share it! Go to the Partnership’s Facebook page for details on submitting your idea and potentially receiving $10,000 and 50 hours of professional advice to implement that idea.