White House Calls On Area Chef To Fight Obesity 6-02-2010 - WNEM TV 5

White House Calls On Area Chef To Fight Obesity 6-02-2010

Bay-Arenac ISD culinary arts instructor Andy Bacigalupo is involved in a program being developed by first lady Michelle Obama to fight obesity ravaging young people across the nation.
Bacigalupo is one of only 50 chefs selected nationwide in the program to wage war against the obesity epidemic plaguing America’s young people.
If he has anything to say about it, future generations will be cooking healthy meals instead of eating poorly, all to combat obesity.
Bacigalupo has taught at Bay-Arenac ISD for eight years, and after he visits with Obama and the other chefs during his 3-day stay in Washington, D.C., he’ll head up a local group of high school students who will spread the good word of eating healthy.
“Hopefully, they’ll be role models for younger kids,” said Bacigalupo.
One of the ways to eat healthier is to eliminate salt from a diet. Bacigalupo and his crew came up with a combination of spices, which taste a lot like salt, as a substitute.
“We’re staying away from fast foods, staying away from salt,” said Bacigalupo. “Things like that are really hot buttons right now with the federal government.”
He said the teens he’s teaching love to be involved in the new program, which is expected to be launched next year.
“I think it’s something that should have been done a long time ago,” said Josh Flood, a student at Bay-Arenac ISD. “I think it’s a great idea.”
“Obesity is on the rise,” said another student, Alec Norris. “Kids need to learn that they need to eat healthier, so it’s a great initiative to help learn what they need to eat.”
TV5’s Craig McMorris asked of one student if switching from junk food would be easy for kids of all sizes.
“Yeah, it will be difficult, but we just need to explore more options and just have the kids realize that there are good options out there that are healthy,” said student Catarina Quinn.
Bacigalupo will lead 30 students at the Bay-Arenac ISD program. He said he knows it’s a daunting task, but he believes teaching kids to eat better will come with time.
“Our hope and our dream is that we get these kids educated,” said Bacigalupo. “They start educating a small task force, at their home schools, and then they roll it out into their communities and their elementary and middle schools as well.”
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