Healthy lifestyles urged in South L.A.

Urban League, Kaiser, HBO collaborate to educate community

OW Staff Writer | 12/12/2013, midnight

The Los Angeles Urban League and Kaiser Permanente will host a free viewing of the HBO documentary “The Weight of the Nation” and a panel discussing the state of adult and childhood obesity in South Los Angeles.

The movie will be shown at Foshay Learning Center, Saturday, Dec. 14 from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. To RSVP, contact Courtney Porter at (323) 299-9660 ext. 2207 or Courtney.porter@laul.org.

The Los Angeles Urban League is supporting the nationwide “The Weight of the Nation” campaign launched by Kaiser Permanente West L.A. and HBO. The League’s goal is to promote healthy lifestyle choices for South Los Angeles children, youth and families through this movie screening. The event will be followed by an open forum discussing the issues that prevent and promote a healthy lifestyle.

An alarming 35.4 percent of adults and 28.9 percent of children in South Los Angeles in grades 5, 7 and 9 are obese. Health education and prevention programs such as the proposed “The Weight of the Nation’s” screenings are crucial to improving the rates of obesity and weight-related illnesses within the South Los Angeles community.

According to D’Ann Morris, Urban League health deputy, the discussion will ask young people to weigh in on what they like and dislike about school food; suggestions on what would make them eat cafeteria food; and ideas for parents on how to coax children to eat more green veggies.

In terms of the school food suggestions, Los Angeles Unified School District officials will be on hand to hear the comments.

The session will also include information on green spaces where community members can exercise for free, a list of farmer’s markets. Additionally Morris said she will provide information about classes the Leagues teaches on how to shop for healthy food on a budget, as well as hands-on cooking demonstrations.

Ideally, Morris said another goal is to take the data and information obtained at the event and use it to formulate the next step in the campaign to get residents in South Los Angeles to eat more healthy.

The free screening of “The Weight of the Nation” will be held at Foshay Learning Center, 3751 S. Harvard Blvd., Los Angeles. Foshay Learning Center is on the corner of Exposition Boulevard and Western Avenue. There is free parking available on Exposition Boulevard at the school entrance.