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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 24, 2009
Contact: Jennifer Buschick
(202) 205-0143

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 Feb. 24 in Atlanta, GA. 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 brings well deserved attention to communities throughout America that are coming together to address childhood overweight and obesity prevention. The project also recognizes local programs that use innovative approaches to encourage kids to eat right and exercise.

"Teaching our children the importance of eating well and being physically active at a young age is crucial to reversing the trend of obesity in this country,” said Galson, a rear admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service. “Everyone has a role to play in this fight to prevent childhood overweight and obesity. Georgia is to be commended for its efforts in mobilizing communities, schools, government, businesses and committed individuals.”

Rear Adm. Galson will present the Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future Champion Award to the ING Run for Something Better Program and to the New Schools at Carver School of Health Sciences & Research high school during an event at the school in greater Atlanta. In addition to the Champion Award ceremony, the students will participate in a running clinic sponsored by ING. Lt. Andy Baldwin, M.D., a physician and lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, and also known for being the bachelor of the tenth season of the reality show “The Bachelor,”will also lead the students in a physical activity exercise.

The ING Run for Something Better (IRFSB) program supports school-based running programs to promote healthy, active lifestyles for America’s youth. Over 40,000 students nationwide have participated in IRFSB and have run over 1,200,000 miles. The New Schools at Carver School of Health Sciences & Research is helping teenagers develop healthy habits through innovative programs such as Walk it Out, Talk it Out which encourages students to walk one mile a day while talking with staff and their peers about any topics they choose.

Following the event at the high school, Rear Adm. Galson will also meet with key community stakeholders including representatives from business, industry, academia and other local leaders to discuss childhood obesity prevention and learn about existing prevention programs

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 two to five and more than tripled among youth ages six to 11 and adolescents ages 12-19. Additional information on the Surgeon General's Initiative can be found at www.surgeongeneral.gov/obesityprevention/index.html.

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Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.