Poster Contest Promotes Healthy Activity

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MIDDLESEX COUNTY—Middlesex County Public Health Department and Department Chairperson Freeholder Ronald G. Rios announced Oct. 1 the “Get Active. Eat Right. Be Healthy.” poster contest as part of an effort to combat obesity.

The contest will be open to all public and non-public school students in grades 3 through 6 in Middlesex County.  Twelve winning entries will be printed in a 2010 calendar that will be distributed throughout the county. In addition, Elks lodges located in Middlesex County will provide $50 U.S. Savings Bonds to each winner.

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The project supports the county’s campaign to combat obesity that was launched in the fall of 2008. During the freeholder’s meeting last week, a proclamation declared October as Childhood Obesity Month.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 17 percent of children and adolescents are overweight.

“Parents, guardians, teachers and health educators must continue to encourage children to develop healthy eating and exercise habits early in life so that they can become healthy adults,” Rios said. “I encourage as many classrooms to participate in this contest as possible.”

Middlesex County Public Health Department Director David A. Papi said: “To support this initiative, the Public Health Department will provide lesson plans to participating schools. These lesson plans will help raise awareness of the importance of good nutrition and exercise.”

Rios concluded: “Every family can make simple changes in their children’s health. Limit television and video time to a maximum of two hours per day, encourage at least an hour of exercise a day and encourage your children to make healthful food choices, such as fresh fruits and vegetables for snacks. Children can help prepare meals and shop with you so that they can be invested in making healthy choices.”

For information and more details on the poster contest and other nutrition and exercise programs, contact Teri Manes at 732-745-8861 or teri.manes@co.middlesex.nj.us.


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