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Got an idea to fight childhood obesity in Utah?
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Schools and community-based nonprofit organizations can apply for grants of up to $1,000 from UnitedHealthcare to fund efforts to fight childhood obesity.

Programs must include an activity — walking, running or hiking — in which kids count their steps. They must also include a service component — where youth increase awareness, provide help or otherwise advocate solutions.

The grant program, called the UnitedHealth HEROES initiative, is offered for the fifth year with Youth Service America, which encourages young people to help in their communities.

Activities funded by the grants will begin on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, Jan. 21, 2013, and end on Global Youth Service Day, April 26 to 28, 2013.

To learn more, visit http://www.YSA.org/HEROES, where a list of previous grant winners is also available. The application deadline is midnight EST on Oct. 15.

The program "enables young people to take part in positive change and develop healthy habits, which will affect their well-being while allowing them to give back to their communities," said Jeri Jones, chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare of Utah, in a statement.

"We are excited to see the creative ideas young people come up with to help fight obesity and encourage healthier lifestyles," she said.

During the first four years of the program, nearly 1,000 UnitedHealth HEROES grants, totaling almost $500,000, have been awarded to groups across the country. —

One-fifth of Utah elementary students at unhealthy weight

A new report by the Utah Department of Health says one-fifth of Utah elementary students are at an unhealthy weight.

Grants • UnitedHealthcare wants to fund your ideas for youth-led programs.
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