Exercise and healthy foods were the order of the day Tuesday at the
Children’s Health and Fitness Fair hosted by the Boys and Girls Club
Julie Frank, spokeswoman for the Coalition for a Healthy and
Active America, a nonprofit grass-roots coalition that promotes fit
lifestyles for youngsters, said that the purpose of the fair is to
create a healthy community for children.
“Children today are now facing an epidemic of diseases and
obesity,” Frank said.
The coalition, by taking the fairs to various locations around the
state, is attempting to foster healthy lifestyle opportunities for
kids while increasing the community’s knowledge through local and
state organizations like the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club, she said.
“Physical education and nutrition are the two main goals we want
to improve in youth,” Frank said.
Chet Conroy, a fifth-grader at Roosevelt, believes in a healthy
lifestyle. The pint-size Kevin Bacon look-alike said he has been
taking karate since he was 4, and he chooses healthy foods like
“McDonald’s is nasty,” he said, scrunching up his nose in disgust.
“I go to In-N-Out Burger.”
Although turkey and chicken hot dogs were served at the fair,
ice-cold Cokes were also available, along with water.
Kiera Moran, 9, a Providencia fifth-grader, nursed a Vanilla Coke.
“I eat vegetables all the time, and my parents won’t let me drink
more than two sodas a day,” she said.
Karen Greeney, project coordinator for the coalition, believes
that a balanced approach has to be taken to health and fitness.
“As long as you’re active, that’s the key,” she said.
Jay Jackson, athletic director at the Boys and Girls Club, said
the earlier in life children are taught, the easier it is for them to
develop good nutrition and exercise habits.
“Obviously, it will help them establish a foundation for good
health, not only in the present, but in the future,” Jackson said.