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Combating Obesity

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Of all of the gimmicks school principals use to motivate their students to do one thing or another, KSL is impressed with what East High's Paul Sagers did this year.

As the school year began, the 336-pound Sagers decided he needed to lose weight. By year's end, he had shed nearly 100 pounds. More importantly, he involved the entire school in his quest. Consequently, dozens of East High students turned toward a healthier lifestyle.

Sagers' example is laudable, and represents what may be happening throughout America.

For the first time in more than two decades, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there has been no significant increase nationally in the percentage of overweight or obese kids. Indeed, it is the first sign that the childhood obesity epidemic may have reached a plateau.

If so - if the leveling off is real and not just a temporary lull - experts say it could be because many schools and parents have started emphasizing the importance of healthier living. In Utah, the focus has been on better health education, more physical activity and healthier school environments.

The health risks associated with obesity are well-documented. In losing a hundred pounds, Principal Sagers has set a notable example for those students who may be battling the bulge.

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