When the Chula Vista Elementary School District south of San Diego surveyed the physical condition of the 25,000 students enrolled in 2010, the results were worrisome. About 40 percent of the kids were at an unhealthy weight – with the highest rates among fifth and sixth graders.
Leafy green vegetables, Brussels sprouts, beets and leeks aren’t typically the kinds of foods available at food banks. Fresh foods are hard to salvage for people in need, even though perfectly edible produce that doesn’t meet grocery store standards is often left to rot in the fields. But a Salinas organization, Ag Against Hunger, has developed some innovative methods for distributing fresh produce to food banks.
At Fresno’s Susan B. Anthony grade school, located in one of the most impoverished area of Fresno, 78 percent of fifth graders don’t meet the state’s requirements for healthy fitness. Fresno pastor Mike Slayden decided to tackle the problem by encouraging students to walk or bike to school. Through his not-for-profit, he offers them a shiny prize for their work: a brand new bike.
A record number of US adults are now obese, with 2 million more people crossing that unhealthy weight threshold between 2007 and 2009, according to new numbers released by the US Centers for Disease Control. California’s obesity rate is 24.8 percent, which is below the US average but higher than 16 other states.
On a recent trip to Washington, DC, I decided to test my belief that walking is an important way to promote weight loss and healthy lifestyles by doing as much walking as possible in our nation’s capital. I decided to keep track of my efforts and see just how easy it was to stay physically active while on a highly scheduled two-day business trip.
California advocates for women and children are making a major push for breastfeeding and laying the groundwork for proposals in the Legislature that could require hospitals that deliver babies to reduce the number of newborns fed with bottled formula.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed eight new measures to fight childhood obesity. Among other things, the governor wants to increase access to free water for school children, eliminate sports drinks from the public schools and increase physical activity in after-school programs.