Youth And Bill Clinton Promote Health (video)

The video aims to mobilize kids across America to lead healthy lives and fight obesity

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a partnership between the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation, recently selected one of its 20 national Youth Advisory Board members to appear in a YouTube video with former President Bill Clinton.

Alliance Youth Advisory Board member, Justin DeParis, age 12, of Allendale, NJ, was selected to represent the board in the video with former President Clinton, which recently debuted on YouTube, Facebook, and on the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Web site healthiergeneration.org. The William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association partnered in May of 2005 to create a new generation of healthy Americans by addressing one of the nation’s leading public health threats –- childhood obesity. The goal of the Alliance is to stop the nationwide increase in childhood obesity by 2010, and to empower kids nationwide to make healthy lifestyle choices. The Alliance is having a positive impact on the places that make a difference to a child’s health: homes; schools; restaurants; doctor’s offices; and the community

“It was an amazing experience meeting former President Clinton at his office in Harlem ,” said Justin DeParis. “I was proud to represent the Alliance for a Healthier Generation in a video that was emailed across the globe. The President shared his stories about saving lives through his various charities and it was very inspirational. I am glad that I can help spread the message about the importance of healthy living to other kids through my activities with the Alliance .”

The video, which urges kids across the country to lead healthy lives, is just one of the ways the Alliance for a Healthier Generation is working to achieve its mission of eliminating childhood obesity and empowering kids to make healthy choices. The Alliance found that unconventional means like pledge cards, online interactive tools, and the use of social media channels including YouTube, MySpace and Facebook, are among the most effective ways to reach kids regarding issues related to their health.

“Childhood obesity is one of our nation’s most alarming health threats today. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation is inspiring young people to instill lifelong healthy habits,” said Ginny Ehrlich, Alliance for a Healthier Generation executive director. “We need the encouragement and leadership of young people like Justin DeParis, who is a member of the Alliance ’s Youth Advisory Board. Justin is leading by example in his community and is encouraging kids to make healthier choices in their everyday lives.”

Founded in 2005, the goal of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s “by kids for kids” movement is to empower millions of kids to make healthy behavior changes and become leaders and advocates for physical activity and healthy eating. One of the ways the Alliance for a Healthier Generation is responding to the alarming rise in childhood obesity is through its Youth Advisory Board, which serves as a team of advisors to craft messages and provide feedback on strategies to reach kids. Over the next two years, the Alliance aims to engage two million kids and halt the obesity rate by 2010 and help it decrease by 2015.

Nearly 1 in 3 kids and teens in the United States is overweight or obese. Due to obesity-related health complications, many believe that if this trend continues to increase, the current generation of young people could be the first in American history to live shorter lives than their parents.

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