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BOISE Helping our kids and the community as a whole be more healthy was the goal of a two-day summit in Boise.

State leaders inside and outside the health care field got together in Boise to tackle some startling statistics.

One in three Idaho kids are either overweight or obese. For adults it's even worse, with half the population either obese or overweight. Those were the numbers used at the conference.

Springtime is about as good a time as any to make changes to be more active and eat better.

We need to invest, deliberately, in our kids' future, said Tyler Norris, Vice President of Total Health Partnerships at Kaiser Permanente and keynote speaker at the summit.

Over 300 people and 200 organizations were represented at the Healthy Communities Summit that motivated two-time Olympic gold medal winner Kristin Armstrong to do more and be better.

We all need to be educated more on what's really happening. And now I feel, as Kristin Armstrong, I have that information now to share, said Armstrong.

That education includes three steps that Idahoan and Norris says all of us can take.

  • Make sure kids have access to healthy, nutritious foods
  • Help kids get at least one hour a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity
  • Help kids find great mentors to help them think about their dreams and pursue them

Only 10 percent of what creates health has to do with access to health care, said Norris. Most of what creates health has to do with what we do at home, at work, at play and school and out in the broader community. That's why we need the whole community here to be part of the solution.

That's why so many organizations, including St. Luke's, Saint Alphonsus, Blue Cross Foundation, school leaders, elected and business leaders, came together to tackle this cause.

It's springtime, the blossoms are out, the weather's getting great, Norris said. It's a wonderful time to get the bike out of the garage, get out your tennis shoes and just start to think about how could I replace a car trip with a bike trip or a walking trip?

As for technology, Norris says it's not about eliminating access to all TV, phones, tablets, computers and video games, it's about finding moderation. If you watch TV, don't watch it for hours at a time, get outside.

Starting Saturday, several of the organizations in the conference are sponsoring an event called Unplug and Be Outside to encourage kids to get outside more.

As for the takeaway, the organizations came up with eight long and short-term goals to encourage communities across the state to be healthier.

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