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News Release

Friday, October 24, 2008

Contact: Julie Moreno
(202) 205-0143

Acting Surgeon General Promotes Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future in New York

Acting Surgeon General Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H., will make another stop on his nationwide tour to promote the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Childhood Overweight and Obesity Prevention Initiative on Oct. 24 in New York City. The initiative targets prevention of overweight and obesity, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles, for young people.

The Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future project focuses on recognizing and showcasing those communities throughout the nation that are addressing childhood overweight and obesity prevention by helping kids stay active, encouraging healthy eating habits, and promoting healthy choices.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to visit communities across the country like New York City and meet first-hand with those actively engaged in finding ways to prevent childhood overweight and obesity," said Galson, a rear admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service.

In New York, Rear Adm. Galson will present the Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future Champion Award to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) and the Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS). They are being recognized for their work in helping prevent childhood obesity through an innovative partnership with the National Institutes of Health’s We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition) education program.  We Can! is highly adaptable, science-based, and provides parents and other caregivers as well as the children themselves with tools and tips to help youth (ages 8-13) maintain a healthy weight through improved food choices, increased physical activity, and reduced screen time. 

The CMOM/CHCANYS collaboration has been using We Can! since June 2008 to create  programs specifically tailored for New York City families.  These programs include parent health ambassadors in low-income communities, healthy lifestyle classes and professional development for health educators. 

We Can! has 19 community sites in the New York City-area that have committed to running the program as part of a growing national movement.


The 2007 New York City Youth Risk Behavior Survey showed 11.5 percent of students in public schools were overweight.

Additional information on the Surgeon General's Initiative can be found at


Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at