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High school actors perform to fight childhood obesity

11:25 AM, Dec 10, 2007   |    comments
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"We all decided we should do a play and just make it fun so kids can learn it," said Alex Peraino, a freshman actress from Wheat Ridge High School. "Instead of just a boring play and lectures because they don't learn from that way."

Twenty actors worked with trainers from the health care group Kaiser Permanente to develop skits which they performed for elementary schools around Jefferson County.

"They wrote the show. They produced the show and they get to act in it," said Brian Harper, Educational Theater Programs Coordinator for Kaiser Permanente.

The high schoolers are trying to deliver a message of four health formulas for young kids to remember: 1. Eat five fruits or vegetables a day. 2. Limit television or video game time to less than two hour each day. 3. Always eat three meals per day. 4. Exercise at least one hour every day.

"It just doesn't matter on your weight," said Peraino. "It just depends if your healthy or not."

Elementary students say the actors' method is working.

"For me, I think it was really more fun than school and it really got me interested," said Barbara Gonzalez, 6th grader from Lumberg Elementary. "You have to exercise and limit your food."

This is all a part of Kaiser Permanente's campaign called "Teens Take It On."

"It seems students hear the message much better from high school students," said Harper. "They really connect to them. They kinda look up to them and so to hear the message from people they admire really does kinda sink in."

Twenty other students from Wheat Ridge High School put together commercials and an advocacy campaign they hope to share with elementary students as well.

"I just wish that kids understand, they need to be healthy," said Peraino.

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