Childhood obesity awareness comes to Valley schools

PHOENIX - Hundreds of students from Castro Middle School and Atkinson Middle School in west Phoenix are taking on a big commitment to live healthier lives.

The kids are volunteering to participate in a five month long challenge to eat healthy and exercise.  

The program launched this week and is sponsored by United Healthcare of Arizona and the fitness organization the Amenzone Foundation.

"The kids not only get fit but they build their self-esteem," said Cheyenne Autumn with United Healthcare.

The kids work out with a trainer from the Amenzone, who also teaches them how to find ways to exercise around their homes by using things they might find around their homes rather than expensive exercise equipment.

The kids are also given a recipe book they can keep.

For some kids in the program, their reasons for participating are heartfelt.

"I'd like to lose weight so kids won't bully me," said Valerie Moreno, a 6th grader at Castro Middle School.

Luis Rayas, also a 6th grader at Castro wants to be a soccer player and wants to go into the Navy when he is older.

He knows it will be a tough commitment.

"I like pizza and I know I can't have that every day," he said. 

The Amenzone is tracking the student's progress over the next five months.

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