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"Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future" in Tampa

Wednesday, January 15, 2009
Contact: Julie Moreno
(202) 205-0143

Tampa Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future Visit

Acting Surgeon General Promotes “Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future” in Tampa

Acting Surgeon General Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H., will make another stop on his nationwide tour to promote the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Childhood Overweight and Obesity Prevention Initiative on Jan. 15 in Tampa, Fla. The initiative targets prevention of overweight and obesity, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles, for young people.

The Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future project focuses on recognizing and showcasing those communities throughout the nation that are addressing childhood overweight and obesity prevention by helping kids stay active, encouraging healthy eating habits, and promoting healthy choices.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to visit communities across the country, like Tampa, and meet first-hand with those actively engaged in finding ways to prevent childhood overweight and obesity," said Galson, a rear admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service.

Rear Adm. Galson will present the Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future Champion Award to the Fit for Families Nutrition and Fitness Program during an event at the St. Pete Times Forum just prior to the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game. Rear Adm. Galson will also be doing the ceremonial first puck drop to kick off the game. Local Medical Reserve Corps volunteers will also be on hand before and during the game to share important health promotion materials with attendees.

Fit Families for Life is an 18-week health education program at the local Academy Prep Center for Education. Fit Families for Life is helping students and families develop healthy eating and exercise habits through on-site lessons and special events for families.

The program is sponsored by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation, the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida.

Academy Prep Center for Education is a college preparatory program for children grades 5 through 8 who meet the criteria for the Federal Free and Reduced Meals Program. Academy Prep utilizes a family approach to learning as the school requires that each family provide up to 50 service hours each year.

Childhood overweight is a serious health concern for children and adolescents in the United States. Since 1980, obesity has more than doubled among children ages 2 to 5 years and more than tripled among youth ages 6 to 11 and adolescents ages 12 to 19. Additional information on the Surgeon General's Initiative can be found at


Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at