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Healthy LifeStars Gets Kids Moving to Reduce Childhood Obesity

By Tom Snee, Iowa News, 05/16/19, 12:00PM CDT

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“They can play in a welcoming and safe environment and then they go home and hopefully continue with what they’ve learned.”

It’s a Friday afternoon and the school day is over, and kids are running around the football field at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex as kids will do on a Friday afternoon when the school day is over.

The elementary school students play sharks and minnows and sprinting games and flag tag, although their favorite activity seems to be chasing Herky around the field.  “Where’s Herky?” one asks, not knowing the bird has stepped out for a breather. “He disappeared,” says another, and they resume chasing flags wedged into other students’ pockets. The more than 100 Iowa City-area students were participants in Healthy LifeStars, an initiative from the University of Iowa College of Public Health that fights childhood obesity by encouraging students to be more active and eat more nutritious food.