MIAMI ( – President Barack Obama has a full plate with the budget deficit, a jobs plan, and the 2012 election beginning already. But, he is still taking time to try to help America’s children.

President Obama marked the start of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month with a proclamation calling on all Americans to “take action by learning about and engaging in activities that promote healthy eating and greater physical activity by all our Nation’s children.”

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The students at Sunset Senior High School are following the president’s orders.

“It’s pretty cool not a lot of people do this, the president that’s a big deal; so if the president says to do it we have to do it,” said Sandra Victorero, a student at Sunset Senior High School.

The sophomore class is highly motivated and determined to change their lifestyle by incorporating fitness into their everyday lives, they pedal, run, lift weights and burn calories in their battle to fight childhood obesity.

“What they do now is going to carry over into adulthood we see that kids who are obese at teens carries over into adulthood,” said Cindy Lopez, one of the physical education teachers at Sunset High.

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According to the White House, the rate of childhood obesity has tripled since the 1970’s, with a third of American children now said to be overweight or obese. This dramatic rise threatens to have far reaching, long term effects on our children’s health, livelihoods and futures.

While many schools are cutting back on the physical education programs due to funding, at Sunset Senior High School their program is growing.

Through the Carol M. White Physical Education Grant funded through the US Department of Education they have been able to build a state of the art gym in their school with treadmills, stair masters, stationary bikes, weights and 40 iPads.

In the program several students will be able to take the iPads home to watch podcasts, follow meal plans must most importantly encourage their friends and family to exercise.

“It helps me, it motivates me and keep my body in shape,” said Sunset Senior High student Darnell Rollins.

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“The more we get it in their brain that this is important you feel better; and kids, when they exercise they too will feel better and want to keep that feeling going,” said Lopez.

Marybel Rodriguez