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Donovan McNabb, schools tackle childhood obesity

More than 600 school children are setting a world record on the very well-known FedEx Field Tuesday.

Eighth grader Thomas Booker said, “I’m kind of pumped about this because, you know…it’s one of my main books. I like to read the Guinness books of world records.”

They are there for a massive interactive fitness session that is making history with the help of some local Marines and Redskins players, anchored by quarterback Donovan McNabb.

“Just about 12, 13 years ago my father was diagnosed with diabetes. And one that’s continued to take the lives of our friends and family,” said McNabb to the students on Tuesday.

The Guinness World Records title attempted is for the Largest Virtual Exercise Lesson. Dozens of schools participated in the fitness session. Among them was Alice Deal Middle from the District.

Alice Deal teacher Neil Downing said, “Our physical education class is more fitness based rather than gain based so they don’t like it sometimes but they are seeing how fun it is and how it helps them.”

D.C. currently has one of the highest childhood obesity rates in the nation. It’s a problem that could lead to chronic heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Shannon Speaster with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition stated, “One of three of the nation’s youth are overweight or obese.”

McNabb told the students Tuesday, “I think it’s important that you guys continue to learn more not only about yourselves but about your families.”

The pressure to workout for at least 30 minutes is on 9-year-old Grayson Parker. He and his dad were invited from Richmond.

Grayson said, “You can stay in shape and be nice and healthy.”

The event Tuesday perhaps had a different meaning for McNabb, but interestingly enough, he already made it into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2004 for 24 completed passes in a row.

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