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New campaign seeks to tackle child obesity in California

According to state officials, one of every three children in California is obese or overweight, and this affects their health and success in school.  Chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma and obesity lead to more absenteeism and worse school performance, which is also costly for schools.

For example, the Ventura County Star recently reported that in Ventura if every student were absent one day a year, it would cost the district $683,500.  

Quoted in the story is State Superintendent Tom Torlakson, who recently launched the Team California for Healthy Kids campaign. The campaign seeks to:

  • Increase physical activity, especially moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) throughout the day, every day, in schools and communities.
  • Increase access to water and fresh foods, particularly salad bars.
  • Increase access to drinking water.

As part of the campaign, Torlakson says that athletes and others involved in the campaign will be visiting schools throughout the state to encourage healthier behaviors. The Team’s co-chairs are Paris, ultramarathonman Dean Karnazes, fitness expert Lorrie Sullenberger, Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Bill Walton, and Toni Yancey, a faculty associate at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, an expert on physical fitness, and the author of “Instant Recess,” a book of tips and techniques to get more active at school, home and work.


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