State Health Commissioner Novello Today Joined Arbor Hill Youth to Promote Healthy, Active Lives

Photo: State Health Commissioner Novello Today Joined Arbor Hill Youth to Promote Healthy, Active Lives

ALBANY, April 14, 2005 - Gearing up for the upcoming observance of National 'TV-Turnoff Week' beginning April 25, State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H. today joined children and teachers at the Albany County Opportunities, Inc., Early Learning Center in Arbor Hill, to promote the importance of healthy lifestyles and discuss obesity prevention.

Dr. Novello spoke with the children and teachers at the local head start program about obesity prevention and the pivotal role they have in maintaining healthy lifestyles. Dr. Novello also read excerpts from the children's storybook entitled, "The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV" to the audience to help stress these key messages.

"Parents, teachers and leaders in the community are wonderful role models for children and very often have the most impact on their lives. Spending quality time with children, motivating them to be active in life taps into the very foundation of our core educational and family values," Dr. Novello said. "By getting more involved, promoting physical activity and eating healthy, parents will help further improve their children's lives."

A copy of "The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV" storybook was given to each child. Its message to children and parents: watching too much television can lead to an inactive lifestyle and less family interaction. The storybook promotes family togetherness and the value of participating in productive activities, such as sports and enjoying the outdoors.

The Governor led this statewide push to promote healthy lifestyles among New Yorkers, when, in his January State of the State Address, he announced his soon-to-be unveiled statewide campaign, Activ8Kids!, to combat childhood obesity and overweight. This campaign will consolidate existing programs and create new childhood obesity prevention initiatives. The core goal is to instill in all children, by the age of eight, a daily regimen that includes: consuming five (5) fruits and vegetables; engaging in at least one (1) hour of physical activity; and reducing screen-time (including TV and video games) to fewer than two (2) hours (5+1+2 = 8).

For more information on how to adapt a healthier lifestyle, please visit the New York State Department of Health's web site at http://www.health.ny.gov.