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Colorado No More 24 - #NoMore24



I remember when I first moved to Colorado, one of the things that I heard about this lovely state was how it was one of the healthiest states. And I totally get it. They love the great outdoors and I see my friends talking about going into the mountains, going hiking, camping or even fishing. As a New Yorker, I'm all about the city and I love the city life, but I have to adjust to life here in Colorado because my kids are here and I've decided to call it "home". However, while Colorado is known as the healthiest state, for many Coloradans - especially our kids - the story is quite different. Did you know that Colorado ranks a mediocre 24th in the nation for our children’s level of physical activity, with nearly 55 percent of our kids not getting the recommended amount of physical activity each week?


My elder son is in high school with his younger brother in junior high and I asked about their PE schedule. My high schooler stated that they get PE only 2 times a week, while my junior high schooler states that he gets it 5 days a week, lucky him! Less than half of all Colorado middle school students attend PE five days a week, and nearly a third of Colorado middle schoolers don’t play sports outside of school. Colorado is one of only four states where physical education is not a required part of the state’s commitment to health. Hang your head in shame Colorado, hang your head in shame!!


When I lived in New York City, one of the things I loved about the city, although it's referred to as a concrete jungle was the fact that there was at least 3 parks within a mile radius of our home. The kids would always go out to either park and there they would run around to their hearts content, no matter what the weather was like. Here in Colorado, I've noticed that in order for my kids, especially my daughter to make it to a park, I have to drive at least 10 minutes to make it there, and that's to our closest park. There are no neighborhood parks in my neighborhood which makes it difficult for the kids to go out and enjoy themselves. Luckily I live in a cul-de-sac but before that, I lived in a neighborhood that didn't even have a sidewalk for my kids to walk on.

Healthy youths are fundamental to Colorado's future and physical activity and nutrition are good not just for your kids' bodies, but also for their developing brains. Research has found that when kids get enough exercise, their learning skills, attitude and behavior at school improve. The same is true when they have access to healthy food choices. By helping kids be more physically active and eat well, we help them succeed academically, better preparing them for lifelong success.

You can put an end to childhood obesity by helping LiveWell Colorado remove barriers to healthy eating and physical activity for all Coloradans.

I would love to help ensure all Coloradans have access to health, including:

  • Nutritious food at school
  • Healthy, affordable food in all Colorado communities
  • At least 30 minutes of physical activity each day in school for all students
  • Access to affordable recreational spaces after school for all children
  • Safe walking and biking opportunities


Join me in signing the pledge to end childhood obesity at NoMore24.org. Are you in?


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of LiveWell Colorado. The opinions and text are all mine.

Annmarie John
102 Comments
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102 comments:

  1. I think we live in a healthy state too! Or at least a healthy part of it. I get livid when Scarlet only gets 15 minutes for recess. 15!? And the food is old school at our school. I thought it would be more modern and healthy, but no!

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    1. Yes I'm not sure why it's only 15 minutes of recess. I remember when I was growing up it seems like we were outside forever. Those were surely the good old days.

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    2. One of the schools near me has started only doing recess for 15 minutes a day 2 days a week. They get 30 minutes of PE 2 days a week, but that leaves one day with no activity at all.

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    3. I guess they think that a little activity is better than no activity at all. It's so sad.

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  2. It is so important for kids to be able to have healthy food options at school. I am so lucky that we have those options in our schools.

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    1. It is very important for them to have healthy options. If only things were different here.

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  3. We are lucky in our small community all kids get free healthy breakfast and lunches even in the summer. We also have PE classes 5 days a week adn our children are required to take one full year of Pe in order to graduate.

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    1. The kids here also get free/reduced lunches (depending on your income) but I'm not so sure how healthy it is. However they do need more physical activity.

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  4. Great post! It is crazy how much things have changed and heartbreaking to read/witness the childhood obesity epidemic, which leads to so many other health problems. As a Mom & an RN, I really appreciate this post!

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    1. Thank you Angela. I hope you'll sign the petition because we do need our kids to stay healthy.

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  5. As a Colorado native I'm sad they made PE a lesser class. When I graduated in 2003 it was a required class from middle school up. We ran the mile and did a lot of sports. I'm sad it's not like that anymore. Love this post!!

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    1. Not being a Colorado native, I have no idea what it was like back then so it's good to hear from a local. I was disappointed that it wasn't mandatory here in high school. The older kids especially need it. I know my son does.

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  6. I am all for all kids of exercise for kids - teaching them that exercise is just as important to them as everything else.

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    1. It is important and I hope you'll sign the pledge with me.

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  7. Ending childhood obesity is definitely something that we should all be striving for! It's so important for kids to have healthy diets and be active. This epidemic needs to end soon.

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    1. It does need to end soon and childhoood obesity should not exist the way it does.

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  8. When I was growing up, we had lots of recesses in elementary school and middle school. PE was offered in high school, plus I played several sports. I, too, think it's a shame that children are not encouraged to get outside and exercise. My sister lives in CO and works at an elementary school. I'm going to ask her how much exercise the students get every day.

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    1. I did too and while they have it consistently in elementary and junior high, unfortunately high schoolers don't have that luxury.

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    2. I think it's a shame! I'm only 27, my entire public education was filled with sports and P.E., whether we liked it or not! In high school, the physed options were gym (basically a joke, walking around the track) or Navy ROTC. I enjoyed ROTC, although I didn't want to be in the military. Not sure about what the actual laws were in TN at that time, or if they've changed, but I feel embarassed for Colorado not having a legal requirement to provide P.E.

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    3. It is a shame and I'm embarrassed myself as well. I remember doing a lot more activity back in my days as well.

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  9. This is such an important topic! Thank you for bringing awareness to preventing childhood obesity. The long term effects of being obsese are overwhelming-so preventive measures to curb this rising trend are vital!

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    1. Oh childhood obesity is definitely a problem and we need to bring more awareness to this problem.

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  10. I love this post. As a resident of Georgia, I can attest to how hard it is to stay healthy in a state where 90% of foods are fried. You have to make conscious decisions to stay healthy, while at the same time being careful not to give your kids a complex by making it about how they look.

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    1. Oh I can only imagine. We have tons of restaurants here as well and most of them are fast food. I swear that I've seen more restaurants here than in NYC when I first got here.

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  11. Our kids last year had 1 recess. ONE. Near the end of the year a new principal came and starting in September they now have 3. I think its so important kids get exercise, free play and healthy foods. All my kids get gym class a few times a week, and I feel like now they finally get whats needed! - Jeanine

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    1. 1 recess??!! I would have been protesting. I guess 3 is better than 1 but 5 would be even better!

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  12. Colorado is such a healthy state. I love this initiative and it's so important that our kids learn healthy living habits. Start them young!

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    1. Oh it is a healthy state, if only our kids were as healthy as the adults are.

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  13. Wow, that is interesting. I used to live in New York and I had several parks around. Now living in Maryland we have a lot of parks, but we also have a playground and walking trail in our community.

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    1. Woohooo for Maryland. I had my choice of parks where I lived in Brooklyn as well, and you would think that since Colorado has a lot more land that it would have more parks, but nope!

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  14. I'm always trying to instill the importance of smart food choices for my kids. Especially at school, it's so vital to have healthy options available, such as fruits, vegetables, etc.

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    1. While healthy foods is good, they also need the exercise as well.

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  15. Our neighborhood is great because the yards are big enough do kids o play in, and we have a lot of parks nearby. It always shocks me when I had about places that don't require PE.

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    1. Our neighborhood is good too and all the houses have backyards to play in, huge backyards and even front yards, but wish there were more public parks.

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  16. I want to get my child back into sports. We took a little time off but now I'm trying to find a sport for him to get back into. He definitely does not get enough time at school to run off his energy.

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    1. Schools these days sure don't give enough time for the kids to run around so you may just have to do something like that.

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  17. This is a surprise! I honestly thought with all you can do in CO, it would be healthier than 24th! This is a great program to bring awareness to childhood obesity.

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    1. It really is surprising isn't it? I honestly thought that we were as well until this study revealed that we weren't.

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  18. Thankfully, my kiddos go to a school where they have THREE recesses + P.E. I think it's sad when states start to cut back on physical education and the arts. Let kids be kids!!
    And since I'm on the soapbox... it seems like we're getting rid of yards for more home, but home is a place where you make memories even in the backyard. I'm currently renting, I hate that we do not have a good backyard for the kids to go play outside in, but they do have a place on the side yard to play b-ball, so that's good.
    XO
    www.mrsaokaworkinprogress.com

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    1. I've noticed that too. When we bought our home, one of the things that I wanted was a bigger yard and while my husband was looking at the new houses being built, the new houses barely had any yards at all. We went with an older home with had a great front and backyard and we couldn't be happier.

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  19. This sounds like a really awesome campaign. I love that you're sharing this message on your website to help more people learn about such an incredible cause!

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    1. Yes we are Theresa and I hope you'll join us and sign the petition!

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  20. I think it was much easier to battle childhood obesity when I was a kid because we actually had to go outside and play. These days kids are more concerned with television and video games.

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    1. That is very true and who do we have to blame. Ourselves, because they don't get those electronics by purchasing it, we do!

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  21. I hate that PE isn't valued for kids. Our city is working to get more sidewalks so it's more walkable. We currently don't have sidewalks in our neighborhood (and forget about parks within walking distance!) We do make a real effort to get our son outside as often as possible.

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    1. And that's what we have to do, we have to get them outside but we also need the help from our states. We can't do it alone.

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  22. I was just thinking school food need to do better because they need healthier options they spend most of their week eating there. Also getting your kids in physical activities will help out a lot!

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    1. That is also true but while we have to play our part at home, it would be nice for them to have the activities at school as well.

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  23. Instilling healthy habits at a young age definitely carries over into adulthood. I love this initiative and feel something similar should happen nationwide as well.

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    1. I'm with you on that and nationwide would be a great thing!

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  24. This is crazy. I thought PE was a mandatory thing everywhere. I'm shocked by reading this. I'm happy to help in anyway I can.

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    1. Thank you! I used to think it was too, but unfortunately it isn't.

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  25. I love that my son likes to take lunch from home because it is definitely healthier, there have been a few times that he's gotten sick from school lunch. Also love living in NYC because there are lots of free opportunities for kids to be healthy

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    1. That's the one thing that I just LOVED about NYC, but unfortunately, I'm here now so I have to make the best of thing.

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  26. This is such an important subject! That's why I always encourage my kids to play outside.

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    1. I'm so happy that you encourage them to do so. They need exercise.

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  27. This is one of the reasons why I am worried when I think of my son getting to school. I will just make some packed lunches for him.

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    1. Well to be honest, some schools do have great lunches, we're more worried about the lack of exercise.

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    2. I am not sure with schools in our place. I am so glad my son loves exercising especially in the morning.

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    3. That is great! Sounds like you may not have a problem with him later then.

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  28. Definitely an opposite for it to be called the healthiest state. Especially if the kids are so unhealthy.

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    1. Well the kids aren't necessarily "unhealthy" but as a state, it is one of the healthiest. ;)

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  29. I've never been to Colorado so I can't speak much on the issue. Sounds like it needs to be addressed!

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    1. It doesn't matter if you've been to Colorado or not, this is something that is happening nationwide. Find out how healthy your kids are in your state. Might not be that much better.

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  30. We just moved to Colorado and I have the same feeling! We live close to several parks though and the food here is way healthier than in Texas (almost to a fault! lol)

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    1. We live close to parks, don't get me wrong, but not parks that we can actually walk to. :)

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  31. The kids here have PE daily until they are done with 9th grade. 10th and up any physical fitness is elective. Thankfully, I keep my daughter active at home, but I do worry about those whose parents don't push them to be more active after 9th grade.

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    1. I personally think that kids should be active all year round and not just at school, but it would be nice to make something such as PE daily and take away the elective part of it.

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  32. This is so important to make sure our kids try to have some sort of a healthy diet plan and exercise for sure. I recall a few years back my oldest ballooned up and I couldn't figure out why, I figured it out and made changes !

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    1. Way to be on top of things. We need to really help our kids, after all they're the future.

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  33. I love this post! Nothing is more important than seeing our children healthy! And giving them healthy options whether at home or school will really help a lot! Thank you so much for sharing this post!

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    1. We sure need to make sure that our kids are healthy and giving them healthy options is definitely one of the ways to do it.

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  34. Definitely in! I live in WV, one of the most obese states in the country and we had PE 5 days a week in every grade!

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    1. Thank you Mistee and sorry to hear that WV is struggling with the same issue.

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  35. I actually WISHED our state was more like this. My son is in high school and he has to have gym all four years - every single day. It is mandatory whether you are involved in sports or not. It is frustrating because he has numerous classes that he would like to take - that are also mandatory to graduate (he is in a special science & math program) ad he has to wait to take these classes because he wastes a period in gym

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    1. And we would love for them to have gym every single day. I wouldn't consider it wasting a period a gym, there has to be a way for him to graduate as I'm sure other have done the same thing and graduated. It's really all about time management.

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  36. I hated gym. I only had to take it my freshman year of high school -- thank god. I was a cheerleader and on the dance team. I didn't need to have PE. I think it is kind of pointless.

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    1. We're all entitled to our opinion but some people do need PE

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  37. My state has the largest obesity in the states so hubby and I are teying to be the best example to ourr kids when it comes to healthy eating habits and show them activities that keeps them moving.

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    1. Sounds like you're doing your best and that's great!

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  38. My older children get no recesses at all at school and I can't even believe it. Great post, exercise and great nutrition is so important.

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    1. No recess at all? That is not good at all!!

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  39. That's a shame that there aren't any closer parks. We just moved from a neighborhood that had 3 parks all within the actual neighborhood. It was really nice. Now we live in the country, so my kids play in the yard and the pasture every single day. I wish all kids had that opportunity!

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    1. We have a huge yard but wish there were closer parks myself.

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  40. They recently started adding more gym periods for students here in New York City. I agree with you that kids need as much physical activity as possible to stay healthy and to expend pent up energy.

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    1. That is awesome! I wish that CO would follow suit.

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  41. Childhood obesity is something we need to focus our attention on. Babies and toddlers are cute when they're chubby but it won't do them well if they are in middle school and still overweight. My kids were active and engaged in after school sports activities. I love that NoMore24.org is raising awareness and encouraging participation to end childhood obesity.

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    1. We really do need to focus on it and you're right, the only kids who look good chubby are babies and toddlers.

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  42. I always knew of Colorado as the healthiest state but didn't realize they were so low on childhood physical activity! I am in because childhood obesity is so important to fight, and our children spending less and less time outside. PE should be everyday!

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    1. I agree, PE should be everyday and I'm surprised that it isn't.

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  43. Our schools go back and forth with PE allowance. It's crazy to me. Thankfully my kids do love heading to the park....even in the hot humidity of our Florida town

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    1. My daughter just loves the park while my boys prefer to play basketball outside.

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  44. This is an important post for our kids! I'm a retired school principal and I watched as our PE services were cut. Not due to budget cuts, but due to time factors. We've got to get kids out playing MORE.

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    1. We really do need to get the kids out and playing more. There is no reason why they shouldn't.

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  45. Such an important topic! I worry about kids being in front of the TV and electronics so much, it isn't healthy-we need to educate them and provide them with better foods and habits!

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    1. It truly isn't healthy and we do need to get them out of the house and doing what's best for them.

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  46. My son has gotten a bit stout and I am trying to get him to step away from the video games. Thanks for the post

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    1. You need to get him out the house. Join him as well, that always tend to encourage them to get out and play more when the parents join in.

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  47. This is such an important topic!!! It's crazy to me how this is such a huge issue. Kids really need to be more active

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    1. They really do need to be more active but we need to encourage them to get out the house too!

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  48. This is a very important message! Obesity is a serious issue and i see kids eating sweets for breakfast

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    1. With the amount of sugar in most cereals, it can sometimes almost be like eating sweets for breakfast.

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