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Schwarzenegger Vows To Fight Obesity

Governor Schwarzenegger was Tuesday’s KVML "Newsmaker of the Day". Here are his words:

"Hello, this is Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with another California Report.

This week, President Bill Clinton and I did something very exciting. We held a town hall meeting. That’s right, we held a town hall meeting on obesity. We heard some exciting ideas to make California and the entire nation healthier.

We know that America is fighting an obesity epidemic. In fact, we are number one in the world when it comes to obesity. Now we like to be number one in a lot of things, but not in obesity.

We are simply just eating too much, and we are exercising too little.

I have been, of course, committed to health and fitness all my life.

I have held seminars around the world about fitness and getting people in shape. And I wrote fitness books and I was the chairman of the President’s Council on Fitness and so on.

So when I became Governor, I vowed to make California a national model for healthy living.

We held our first obesity summit in 2005. And let me tell you, California has really led the way in this fight.

California was the first to ban sodas and junk food from our schools.

And we put more fruits and vegetables in our school meals and we banned transfats.

And we were the first state in the nation to require chain restaurants to post calories. Now that was a big, big hit.

Because now, when people see the calories – that a milkshake has 1,300 calories or that a scone has 480 calories – I think people don’t want to eat that every day, because they know that it takes hours of bicycling or running to burn it off.

Now we know obesity can’t be solved overnight. We have to keep working, to change the way we live. That is really what the bottom line here is.

Obesity rates in California have leveled off somewhat, but the numbers are still too high.

In California, one in three teens is overweight or obese, and three in five adults are overweight or obese.

And the annual cost of all this weight gain and obesity costs the state of California $50 billion. Can you believe that?

Now just to show you how much money that is: that is what it takes to educate all of our kids. That is what we spend on our education system in all the schools.

And that is what we would spend to build the High Speed Rail up and down the state of California. That is how much we spend in just one year because of obesity.

So this week, we held our second obesity summit, and we brought together people who have had real success in fighting the obesity epidemic.

Some of these ideas are part of my 2010 policy agenda that attacks obesity on every level.

Believe me, I want these healthy strategies to become action. That is why I am proposing that we make some big changes.

We will require school districts to make fresh, free, drinking water available to our students. Now you say, "Fresh drinking water? Doesn’t every school have that anyway?"

No. Forty percent of the schools do not have fresh drinking water available where kids eat their lunches. That’s crazy.

We will also eliminate sports drinks in our public schools, because they are filled with sugar and are linked to weight gain.

Students in after-school programs will also get exercise. We are going to have them do 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise.

And students in regular PE classes will spend more time exercising.

Now we will also open school gymnasiums and get the entire family out there exercising in the evening.

And you know, I love to get people excited about fitness and healthy living.

Because of the obesity epidemic, we run the risk that kids, for the first time, will have a shorter lifespan than their parents.

Now we can change that if we all work together.

Even though there is a lot of finger pointing going on. Is it the parents’ fault? Or the schools’ fault? Or is it the children’s fault? I say, let’s all work together. Let’s forget about the finger pointing.

The schools, the parents, the children, government, food providers, everyone has to work together. And then we can conquer this problem.

Now California, we are heading toward a fitter and healthier future. That I can promise you.

But you have to do your part, and start today. Eat right, get moving and get pumped up.

So thank you very much for watching and thank you for listening."

The "Newsmaker of the Day" is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am

Written by mark@mlode.com