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Illinois joins campaign to reduce childhood obesity

Published: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:12 a.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Illinois is the latest state to join a national program aimed at reducing childhood obesity.

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday announced a new campaign from the National Foundation for Governors' Fitness Councils.

The program encourages educators to look for innovative ways to improve students' fitness and nutrition. Three schools will be selected as "National Champion Schools" and will win $100,000 fitness centers.

The program and the fitness centers are funded through partnerships with companies such as Nike and Coca-Cola. It's already been rolled out in Arkansas, Texas and Florida.

Rauner says Illinois has some of the highest childhood obesity rates in the nation. He says the program has had a "huge impact" in other states.

The campaign's chairman is Jake Steinfeld, founder and CEO of Body By Jake Global.

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