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Weekly Roundup: Before Tourney, Bill Clinton Puts Spotlight on Obesity

Former President Bill Clinton held a special conference on obesity this week before the Humana Challenge PGA Golf Tournament in California, where he urged policy changes designed to help Americans live healthier. MyDesert.com reports that Clinton brought a host of celebrities, health and fitness experts and policymakers to the Health Matters meeting, including daughter Chelsea Clinton, who said local school systems are on the front lines of fighting childhood obesity.

Celebrity Chef, TV Star New Partners in Obesity Fight

Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton announced during the Health Matters conference that iCarly’s Reed Alexander and chef Lorena Garcia will work with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to craft healthy school meal recipes that will be made available for free to any school in the country. The duo join chef Rachael Ray in the effort; Ray created dozens of healthy recipes for the Alliance that have been used by thousands of schools nationwide.

Obesity Rates Hold Steady

New studies out this week find that U.S. obesity rates aren’t coming down — but they aren’t going up, either. Reuters reports that government researchers found that about one in three adults and one in six kids and teens were obese in 2009 and 2010. That represents no change from 2007 and 2008 statistics, which some experts say is a sign efforts to halt the epidemic are starting to pay off.

Paula Deen Diabetes Announcement Creates Buzz

Celebrity chef Paula Deen confirmed this week that she has type-2 diabetes — and will become the spokeswoman for diabetes medication — an announcement that had nearly everyone in the obesity movement talking. Reuters reports that while some praised the chef for admitting she’s lived with the disease for three years, others attacked her for coming forward only after signing a lucrative contract with a drug company. “Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later,” chef Anthony Bourdain tweeted.

Schools to Monitor Student Physical Activity 

Schools in Bay Shore, N.Y. are preparing to implement a new program that will give physical activity monitors to overweight and obese students in an effort to help them lose weight, Fox News Latino reports. Officials say the wristwatch-like devices will help track the students’ activity levels, but some say the monitors raise privacy issues.

Salt Lake Schools Promote Fake Vending Machines

In an effort to show students the dangers of eating too much junk food, schools in Salt Lake City are installing vending machines full of unhealthy foods in their hallways, ABC4.com reports. There’s a catch: The machines are filled with pretend junk food, which include kid-friendly jokes promoting the unhealthiness of chips, candy and other items.

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