Education A Washington Roundup

Bush to Propose Grants to Aid Schools on Health

By Christina A. Samuels — February 06, 2007 1 min read

President Bush and first lady Laura Bush met with corporate leaders and advertising executives last week to discuss ways to prevent childhood obesity.

After the meeting, advertisers announced that they are launching a campaign featuring characters from the “Shrek” animated movies encouraging children to “Be a player: Get up and play an hour a day.”

The proportion of overweight children has tripled among U.S. adolescents in the past 25 years. More than 10 million school-age children are considered overweight. Obesity puts children at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses.

“Childhood obesity is a costly problem for the country,” Mr. Bush said. “It puts stress on American families. And we believe it is necessary to come up with a coherent strategy to help folks all throughout our society cope with the issue.”

The advertising campaign is just one of those strategies, he said. The president plans to propose $17.3 million for such efforts in his fiscal 2008 budget, which was scheduled to be released this week.

The aid would provide grants of $3,000 to $5,000 to some 3,600 schools to help them develop “school health-index improvement plans,” the White House said. Such plans would help schools assess and measure the health of their students.

A version of this article appeared in the February 07, 2007 edition of Education Week