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Campaign takes new approach to kids' health

March 9, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The Kid Healthy campaign aims to give kids the right tools to fight childhood obesity and gain a healthier lifestyle.The students of 186th Street Elementary School kicked off the first day of the Kid Healthy campaign.

"We are so honored that our school was chosen to host this wonderful event," said the school's principal Marsha Reed.

The first step is to take lots of steps. Armed with new pedometers, the goal is to take at least 10,000 steps a day. And for 20 days, each child will write down details about what they eat and how much they exercise.

"They log their steps and they log their fruits and vegetables for 20 days, and that helps create a behavior change," said Jackie Teichmann, a Kid Health organizer.

Kid Healthy organizers say that it takes 20 days of repetition for a new behavior to stick.

"I used to eat a lot of junk food, but now I'm starting to eat lots of fruits and vegetables," said 5th-grade student Ivan Andrade.

"I think about what's going on in the real world, trying to see how lots of kids are getting diabetes. I think about that instead of throwing myself into all that sugar," said 10-year-old student Giselle Morales.

"It's the re-education of the communities," said Dr. Jose Ramirez of Kaiser Permanente.

Ramirez said that the re-education starts at home. Parents need to set good examples and the benefits are more than physical.

"The kids that are fit are healthier and happier kids with better self esteem," said Ramirez.

Participants of the program get apple and banana cards from Albertsons. Kids also receive free fruit and learn the basics of leading a healthy lifestyle.

"Get up off the couch and move your body and do jumping jacks," said 10-year-old student Destiny Ramirez.

The event runs throughout March and April, and ABC7 is a sponsor of this event. But you don't need to be a part of a school to do this program. Parents can implement the 20-day re-education at home to make that permanent change.