California Moms Speak Out in New State Ads to Fight Obesity

State Health Department Launches Champions for Change Campaign

May 17, 2007, 01:00 ET from California Department of Health Services

    SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 17 /PRNewswire/ -- California moms tell how
 they have incorporated more fruits and vegetables and physical activities
 into their families' daily lives in new television and outdoor ads launched
 today by the California Department of Health Services (CDHS). The ads are
 part of the new Champions for Change campaign that highlight the key role
 moms play in healthy eating to combat the state's obesity epidemic.
     "I am inspired by the passion and sincerity of the women featured in
 our new Champions for Change ads," said State Public Health Officer Dr.
 Mark Horton. "These women are not actors. They are everyday moms coming
 forward with their personal message to the residents of this state. It's up
 to each of us to take responsibility for what we eat and what we do. It's a
 message Californians have heard before, but these ladies speak from the
     The new ads feature tools and tips to make healthy choices easier. The
 campaign is part of California's ongoing public health effort to empower
 low- income Californians to live healthier, more active lives.
     CDHS' Network for a Healthy California (Network) partners with more
 than 200 organizations statewide to promote fruit and vegetable
 consumption, physical activity and food security, with the goal to prevent
 obesity and other chronic diseases. The Network has rebranded the historic
 California 5 a Day Campaign with a new look to reflect the new federal U.S.
 Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines for Americans that nearly
 doubled the amount of fruits and vegetables needed every day for better
     "Many low-income Californians face barriers to healthy eating and being
 active such as lack of access to good, nutritious food and safe places to
 play and exercise," said Horton. "These new ads encourage individuals to
 become agents of change in their communities to work toward better access
 to nutritious foods and safe environments. We urge Californians to be
 Champions for Change and take control of their families' health, nutrition
 and well- being."
     Californians have gained 360 million pounds in the past decade. More
 than half of adult Californians are overweight or obese and one in every
 three California children ages 9 to 11 and one in four ages 12 to 17 are
 overweight or at risk of becoming overweight. Governor Arnold
 Schwarzenegger addresses this crisis in his Obesity Prevention Plan and
 Health Care Reform proposal, both of which complement the department's
     The Network enlisted moms throughout the state to carry the message to
 California neighborhoods and communities. "Moms have a sense of
 credibility," said Horton. "They know that good health starts in their
 shopping carts and kitchens. These women bring the Network's mission to
 life by speaking about their own experiences to overcoming barriers to
 access healthier food and inspiring community members to be Champions for
     Brenda Parker of Rialto in Riverside County is one of the moms featured
 in the campaign. Besides being a role model for healthier eating habits and
 physical activity in her home, Parker recently established a healthy snack
 sale at her children's school to replace the traditional unhealthy baked
 goods and snacks.
     "Being a Champion for Change is a big honor for my family and me," said
 Parker. "I know how hard it can be to make health a priority. However, by
 being a role model for my children, I am able to show them how eating fruit
 and vegetables and participating in physical activity are so important. I
 want other moms to know that moms like me are making healthy changes, and
 they can too."
     For more information, visit the Network Web site at

SOURCE California Department of Health Services