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Eat Healthy Albany hosts first community event

ALBANY -- A new study by the group Trust for America's Health says half of New Yorkers will be obese by the year 2030. Researchers warn the obesity epidemic will cost families billions of dollars but the city of Albany is trying to do something to stop it.

Sunday kids and parents participated in Eat Healthy Albany's first event at the Palace Theater. The program is designed to inspire healthy changes in eating.

Their target group? Children.

"They can actually have a trickle up effect on their parents and actually tell their parents the right things to do. Very often parents don't know the right way to eat," said Chef Gail Sokol.

Sokol is part of the Eat Healthy Albany Program. Sunday, she held a free demonstration on how to choose and prepare healthy food. People we spoke to at the event applaud the city's effort to combat the problem.

"We need to be educated about the sugar and stuff. We have not been really, really educated about it," said Lois Parsons of Albany.

"Having to fight it myself growing up and as an adult having to make a lot of changes in order to make myself healthier I'm very excited to see this going on," added Dineen Franco of Albany.

The city of Albany is capitalizing on a forward thinking movement happening now in school cafeterias.

"There's a mandate this particular year that schools have to serve specific types of vegetables, certain colors. Half the grains that they're serving have to be whole grain and they have to serve as little processed sugar and salt as possible," added Sokol.

It's a tough change for 16-year-old Alex King, who loves to eat pizza for lunch, but he's open to try new things. 

"If you made healthier pizza or healthier options I wouldn't mind," said King.

The second phase of the program will take Eat Healthy Albany with Chef Sokol into city schools where she'll hold interactive cooking demonstrations.
 
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