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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 27, 2009
Contact: Julie Moreno
(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 March 27 in Providence, R.I. The initiative promotes the benefits of healthy lifestyles for America’s 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 creative approaches to encourage kids to eat right and exercise.

Rear Admiral Galson will present the Surgeon General’s Champion Award with Gov. Donald L. Carcieri to the Rhode Island Kids First program during an event with students at the Curvin McCabe Elementary School.

“We must work together across communities and the nation to reverse the childhood overweight epidemic,” said Galson, a rear admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service.  “Whether you work in community programs, focus on policy, or are a role model for one specific child, you have the influence to make a difference. I am pleased to be here today and congratulate the Kids First program for their innovation and commitment to helping the children of Rhode Island lead healthier lives.”

Kids First is helping to improve the nutritional and physical well being of children through educational workshops for teachers and parents and after-school programs for kids.  Through its Rhode Island Farm to School project, Kids First is also helping school districts buy locally grown foods to serve in school meals.

Following the event at the school, Rear Adm. Galson and Gov. Carcieri will host a roundtable discussion on childhood obesity in Rhode Island with representatives from the Rhode Island Department of Health, academia, health care providers, and local businesses.  Innovative programs such as the Davis Park Revitalization Project will be featured at the roundtable event.  The Davis Park Revitalization Project is creating a safe and inviting neighborhood outdoor space to encourage children and adults to be physically active.  

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 old and more than tripled among youth ages 6 to 11 and adolescents ages 12 to19. 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.