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October 23, 2010
Dr. Oz lauches anti-obesity program at Luther Burbank HS

By Chris Macias

Dr. Mehmet Oz ordered, best known as the host of "The Doctor Oz Show," visited Luther Burbank High School today to launch his HealthCorps program in Sacramento.

HealthCorps' mission is to fight childhood obesity at American high schools through health, exercise and nutrition outreach. With help from Mayor Kevin Johnson, HealthCorps is being initiated locally at Luther Burbank High School and Sacramento Charter High School.

The produce from Burbank's garden will ultimately be used in the school's lunch program and donated to homeless shelters.

"HealthCorps is based on two things: good policy and good politics," said Oz. "We were looking for a strong mayor and strong school leadership. Put those things together and you've got the recipe to make Sacramento grow."

Johnson cited Sacramento County as being the state's third most obese county as a reason for recruiting HealthCorps. Luther Burbank and Sacramento Charter High School were chosen for HealthCorps because they were in communities that were among the most in need, said Johnson.

Oz believes that Sacramento has plenty of potential for a successful HealthCorps program, which is being funded locally by the California Walnut Board for $150,000.

"There are very few places around the country that have the access to fruits and vegetables like you do," Oz said in a speech at the school's auditorium. "It's disconcerting to see you so high on the obesity list."

HealthCorps can be found in 41 high schools in 11 states.

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