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Delaware's Campaign to Make Kids Healthy Gets Boost from US Top Doc

WILMINGTON, Del., April 3, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To promote the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' "Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future" initiative, Acting U.S. Surgeon General Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H., visited with several community leaders at A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children to discuss current efforts in reducing childhood obesity in Delaware.

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The "Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future" initiative focuses on recognizing and showcasing communities throughout the nation that are addressing childhood overweight and obesity prevention by helping kids stay active, encouraging healthy eating habits, and promoting healthy choices.

Dr. Galson recognized the efforts of Nemours Health & Prevention Services (NHPS) and their community partners in making changes where children live, learn and play. He presented a special recognition award to The Campaign to Make Delaware's Kids the Healthiest in the Nation. The initiative, launched in 2007, raises the awareness of Delawareans on what they can do to help change the trends of childhood obesity and overweight.

"As I have been traveling around the country one thing is apparent communities need to work together to help our kids learn how to eat and to encourage them to be more physically active," remarked Galson. "Listening to how you are strategizing this in Delaware is very encouraging."

The Campaign promotes the 5-2-1 Almost None healthy lifestyle. The healthy lifestyle message developed by NHPS promotes eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily; spending no more than two hours daily in front of a screen (TV, recreational computer time); getting at least one hour of physical activity daily; and drinking almost no sugary beverages, such as sodas and sports/energy drinks.

In Delaware, Nemours Health and Prevention Services has spent the last five years developed partnerships with more than 200 organizations across the state in an effort to create changes in policy and behavior to help children grow up healthy. "There is no single solution to solving the problem of childhood obesity," said Debbie Chang, senior vice president and executive director of Nemours Health and Prevention Services. "It requires civic and community leaders working together and making significant changes within their organization for children to grow up healthy. Remember kids can't do it alone. It is going to take all of us working together."

Along with discussing the different programs taking place throughout the state, Dr. Galson observed policy and practice change in action at the Latin American Community Center (LACC) where he visited their childcare and after-school programs. "We've removed the vending machines, changed our menus to include more 'colors', incorporated whole wheat products, reduced the portion sizes we serve to the children and only offer water and milk to our children," said Maria Matos, executive director of the LACC, "we saw how important it was to make these changes."

For more information, about the Surgeon General's tour, visit

To learn more about 5-2-1-Almost None and the CATCH Kids program, visit the Nemours Health and Prevention Services' website at

Nemours Health and Prevention Services (NHPS)

Nemours Health and Prevention Services (NHPS) works with families and community partners to help children grow up healthy. Our goal is to drive long-term changes in polices and practices that promote child health and to leverage community strengths and resources to have the greatest impact on the most children. One of our initial areas of emphasis is childhood obesity prevention through the promotion of healthy lifestyles, the center piece of which is The Campaign to Make Delaware's Kids the Healthiest in the Nation.

NHPS is a division of Nemours, one of the nation's largest pediatric health system operating the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, and outpatient facilities throughout Delaware, the greater Delaware Valley, and northern and central Florida. NHPS expands Nemours' reach beyond clinical care to consider the health of the whole child within his or her family and community.

SOURCE Nemours Health and Prevention Services
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