Bubba and the Terminator team up in war on fat

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former President Bill Clinton today announced their partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation — itself a partnership between the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation — to inspire America’s youth to develop lifelong healthy habits and avoid obesity.


“Initiatives like the Alliance for a Healthier Generation are providing the framework for a healthier America. I am thrilled to join with President Clinton and the American Heart Association because in California we are already doing everything the Alliance supports,” said Gov. Schwarzenegger. “The foundation for a healthy lifetime is built in the habits we learn as youth. They give us the strength and the confidence to achieve more, to feel better and to succeed. These healthy habits can help give our children the future they deserve.”

The dynamic duo today toured Columbia Middle School in El Monte, an award-winning participant in the Alliance Healthy Schools Program which provides both on-site and online support and resources to help schools have healthier food, increase physical activity during and after school, teach nutrition and start school employee wellness programs.

Said Clinton: “Thanks to the leadership at this school, and so many others across the country, students are being given the opportunity to take a critical step forward in learning how to live healthier lives. We know that reducing or eliminating childhood obesity comes down to a very simple formula: helping children reduce the number of calories they consume and increase the number of calories they burn. Here in California, under the Governor’s leadership, you have been committed to making this happen in your schools. When schools like this give students the tools they need to lead a healthier lifestyle, they are helping them make an invaluable investment in their future.”

Schwarzenegger, who in May replaced Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee as co-leader of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, today challenged other Governors to enroll the highest percentage of schools in their states in the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program.

The governor’s office says that, second only to tobacco, obesity is a leading cause of preventable death among Californians and costs the state $28.5 billion in health care costs, lost productivity and workers’ compensation.

UPDATE @ 5 P.M. WEDNESDAY: Listen to audio of the event:

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.