Central Iowa high schooler has spent the day in Washington D.C. trying to lobby members of Congress about ways to cut down on the childhood obesity rate. Sarah Galbraith, a 16-year-old from Maxwell, is in the nation’s capitol as a youth advocate for the American Heart Association.
Galbraith says one proposal would help get kids on their feet, in rural and urban areas. “The Safe Routes to School Act is about creating safer walks to school for kids,” Galbraith says. “Hopefully, kids will want to walk to school more instead of having their parents drop them off, so it counts as a bit more activity which is what they’re trying to get because of childhood obesity.”
A Heart Association program focuses on physical activity and school nutrition. Galbraith, a junior at Collins-Maxwell High School, says she wishes the cafeteria would offer better alternatives to burgers, tater tots and pizza.
“Just in my school, if we would change the school lunches, it would make a big difference,” she says. “What they want to do is not totally change stuff, just make it healthier. Cut out sodium and fats and extra sugars and add fruits and vegetables and whole grains.”
A federal study finds about one out of every six young people, between the ages of two and 19, are considered obese.