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City Council Distrcit 2
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  When I started on the City Council in 2004, my new colleague Councilmember Capitelli jokingly suggested that he and I should go on a diet together, a public one that would provide the needed scrutiny to keep us on track.  At the time, I was trying to get my feet wet on Council and was not quite serious enough about my own fitness to really commit to something of that caliber.

  Then last May, the Berkeley Health Department presented to the City Council the 2007 Health Status Report for the City of Berkeley.  Through that report and presentation we learned that:

  • Sedentary lifestyles and poor diet are responsible in part for 15 % of deaths in the City of Berkeley.
  • Between 30% and 60% of Berkeley’s grade school students cannot pass a standardized aerobic fitness test.
  • 13% of Berkeley’s 7th graders are overweight or obese.
  • Rates of obesity are increasing at a significantly higher rate in lower income and predominately Latino and African American neighborhoods in West Berkeley.

The report’s conclusion?  Today’s children are the first generation ever in the US that may live shorter lives than their parents due to obesity.  Children are contracting illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure that used to be considered adult diseases.  This “obesity epidemic” threatens to cause a tsunami of chronic illness that will cause huge increases in disability and in health care costs in years to come.

In light of the results of the Health Status Report, Laurie and I got serious about our health, so the public diet concept was resurrected.  We thought that it was a great way to bring some public attention to a very serious problem.  Since the summer, and with the support and inspiration of our own Public Health Department, it has evolved into a full-fledged community campaign – “Be Fit Berkeley” – to encourage all our residents to eat health foods and exercise regularly.

On October 1, 2007, Laurie and I, along with three other Council colleagues, weighed in at the steps of the Civic Center building.  I won't reveal my weight just now.  I figure I will drop a few pounds before I admit to anything.

  We invite all of you to join us, by eating fresh fruits and vegetables, limiting high fat and processed foods, and exercising regularly.  Those who formally sign up and participate will be eligible for weekly raffles prizes (donate by local businesses), T-shirts and other incentives.  I will also be hosting events in District 2 to promote the campaign, as will the other Councilmembers in their districts.

  For more information and locations of Be Fit Berkeley sign-in stations, go to:

Be Fit Berkeley Official Website

Flyer for Upcoming Events

Be Fit Berkeley Albums

Check out the Oakland Tribune's coverage of our kick-off event

This public awareness campaign would not be possible without the support of our community partners.  Thank You!

Major Sponsors:


Raffle Prize Donors:
Grocery Outlet
The Cheese Board
Peet's Coffee
The North Shattuck Association
Landmark Theaters
T-Rex Barbeque
SeaSalt Restaurant
The Cheesesteak Factory

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