GOVERNOR HUNTSMAN URGES PERSONAL AND CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY IN FIGHTING OBESITY
National Healthy America Week Kicks Off May 1, 2006
Salt Lake City - Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., joins fellow governors as part of the National Governor's Association's (NGA) effort to promote healthy living for all Americans. The NGA is raising awareness for all Americans to live healthier and more active lifestyles by sponsoring Healthy America Week activities (May 1-5).
In support of Healthy America Week, Governor Huntsman is taking action to urge Utah residents to adopt healthy habits that will last a lifetime. The Governor will join students and community members at Jennie P. Stewart Elementary School in Centerville, Utah to sign the Healthy America Week Declaration, launch the Utah Blueprint to Promote Healthy Weight for Children, Youth and Adults and to participate in the Jennie P. Stewart Elementary School's Tech Trek.
"Healthy America is about emphasizing the simple behavioral and lifestyle changes necessary for children, teenagers and adults to live long, healthy lives," Governor Huntsman said. "One way to reach our goal is by making sure the healthy choice is the easy choice at home, school, work and play in Utah."
More than half of Utah adults are overweight or obese (22.1 percent are obese), and one of every four children are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight. These rates reflect a dramatic increase over the past decade.
Governor Huntsman believes the Healthy America Week Declaration addresses the importance of physical activity and healthy eating to prevent chronic diseases. Being physically active for at least 30 minutes a day, eating well and maintaining a healthy weight are behaviors that are part of a life-long commitment to making good health decisions. To help begin or maintain this commitment, citizens are encouraged to participate in the Healthy America Survey.
Governor Huntsman is also pleased to announce Utah's plan for obesity prevention - The Utah Blueprint to Promote Healthy Weight for Children, Youth and Adults. This program focuses on policy and environmental changes that encourage Utahns to increase physical activity and improve eating habits. The Blueprint includes strategies to support more physical activity and healthy eating for families, schools, communities, worksites, health care, media and government. The Blueprint, along with many efforts already underway in Utah, is aligned with initiatives that governors across the nation are promoting to address obesity prevention. To learn more about Healthy America and the Blueprint, visit www.health.utah.gov/obesity.
Additionally, Governor Huntsman is launching Healthy America Week by joining Jennie P. Stewart Elementary School in their Tech Trek walk-a-thon.
This walk-a-thon is a fundraiser for technology based equipment and services for the school. Students actively participate by obtaining pledges and walking laps to earn funds for the school. Jennie P. Stewart Elementary School's 2005 Tech Trek earned over $14,000 with the support of over 700 students and 66 business sponsors.
"I commend the students, parents and faculty of Jennie P. Stewart for this great initiative," Governor Huntsman said. "With thousands of technology companies thriving here, Utah is often ranked among the top high tech spots in the country. The technology training needs to start young and this event is a step in the right direction."
Tech Trek has provided funds for vital equipment at the Jennie P. Stewart Elementary School, including upgraded computers and two computer labs, a science lab, cameras and software and licenses, allowing students the use of materials they ordinarily have limited access to.