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Anti-Childhood-Obesity Campaign Launched

A $1.5 million grant has been awarded to a new initiative aimed at curbing childhood obesity and promoting healthy behaviors to students enrolled in out-of-school programs.

According to a press release, the Wellesley, Mass.-based Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation has given ChildObesity180, a leadership team of health experts, in conjunction with Tufts University, the money for the Healthy Kids Out of School program. Its goal is to reach 500,000 children in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine within the next years.

The program promotes both nutrition and exercise and will work with community organizations like the YMCA, National 4-H Council, Boy and Girl Scouts, and Council of La Raza to implement the initiative locally in out-of-school programs, where many students are "vulnerable to the poor health outcomes linked with childhood obesity," says the release.

In addition to supporting the instruction in out-of-school programs to teach children how to adopt healthier lifestyles, funding from the new project will also pay for a new Web portal called Healthy Kids Hub that will offer lesson plans, training materials, and tips for out-of-school staff to use in their programs.

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