Community leaders say the "Vitality City" project will reduce obesity and hypertension rates, which is among the highest in Los Angeles County. The project is urging restaurants, workplaces, and schools to offer more healthful options on their menus, with one restaurant replacing bread with steamed vegetables. School efforts include "walking school buses", morning aerobics classes and nutrition lessons.
"Vitality City Director Joel Spoonheim said he expects some opposition over the next few years. But he urges naysayers to look at the success the project had in Alberta Lea, Minn., where he said healthcare claims dropped and participants lost an average of 2.6 pounds and boosted their life expectancy by three years."
The beach cities received a $3.5-million grant from a company called Healthways, "...a company that works to improve wellbeing, and the services of health and city planning experts from throughout the U.S."