Mayor's Fitness Council sees improvement in nutrition

Mayor Castro: Healthier meals offered in schools, kids' activity levels need improvement


SAN ANTONIO – The Mayor's Fitness Council hosted a healthy school summit to share ideas and success stories with area schools in hopes of creating a culture of fitness.

Mayor Julian Castro said changes in health community-wide starts with children.

"Little by little, San Antonio is making progress to becoming a healthier city, a more fit city. That's going to show up in less diabetes, less obesity, less hypertension," he said.

The Fitness Council has seen positive changes in nutrition with healthier breakfast and lunch and more salad bars in schools.

They see activity level as an area of improvement.

"With the problems that we have of PE diminishing, those of us who care about health and fitness, in particular physical activity, are always looking for ways to increase physical activity," Mary Ullman Japhet, chair of the Mayor's Fitness Council, said.

At Myers Elementary School in the Northside district, students only got to PE twice a week, but when they go to recess every day, teachers ask them to run two laps around the playground.

Student ambassadors who promote fitness to their peers is another tool the Mayor's Fitness Council is supporting.

Beth Murguia coaches PE at Cambridge Elementary where the student ambassador is using morning announcements to suggest a weekly health pledge.

"Last week, it was skipping dessert for the whole week. This coming up one is going to be every morning working on doing a minute of sit-ups," Murguia said.

Those are  the kind of little changes that Castro believes will add up to a healthier lifestyle for students.