L.A. school awarded for fighting obesity

LOS ANGELES With each swing of the arms and each kick of a leg, the kids at Los Angeles Elementary School are fighting back against obesity.

A former star of ABC's "The Bachelor," Andy Baldwin, had the kids working up a sweat. After all, exercise is one of the key weapons in the fight, and so is good nutrition.

"I like broccoli, spinach, carrots and tomatoes," said Angel Villa Gomez, a student.

"I eat vegetables -- like sweet corn, broccoli, celery," said Cecils Rugamas, another student, who also says she doesn't like fast food.

The kids are learning about healthy diets thanks to the California Department of Health's Network for a Healthy California.

The Acting Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Steven Galson, presented the network with an award for its efforts.

The program isn't just aimed at kids in school, but also parents. Mothers have been enlisted to help teach other parents what their kids should be eating.

"The biggest problem, I think, is that they're strapped for time. A lot of moms are working ... lack of information," said Aracely Rossa, a nutrition volunteer. "Sometimes it's easier to take the quick way, drive-thru way out."

Volunteers think they are getting through to the kids, but everyone understands changing eating habits won't be easy.

"We're trying to teach moms how they can change that behavior in their families. And get more meals in the home and more healthier meals to their kids," said Dr. Mark Horton, California Department of Public Health. "But it's a major challenge in this hectic life we lead these days."

Americans have been eating the wrong foods for years and it may take years to make healthy foods the first choice when we are hungry.



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