VH1’s “Celebrity Fit Club” fitness instructor Harvey Walden said he will do whatever he can to support first lady Michelle Obama’s national “Let’s Move” campaign to combat childhood obesity, announced on February 9.

“We didn’t have much in the south side of Chicago,” said Walden, “but one thing we still had in school is PE. Now you see that is not there anymore, and it just drives me mad. That’s why I’m so on board with this…campaign.”

Though his role on “Celebrity Fit Club” gave Walden the reputation of being an extremely stringent, tell-it-like-it-is fitness instructor, Walden said he is deeply concerned about the health of America’s youth.

Government statistics show that nearly 32 percent of children and adolescents are obese, making them prone to weight-related diseases such as high cholesterol and diabetes. In addition to the threat of physical ailments, Walden said childhood obesity has a negative impact on them socially and educationally.

“Once they’re healthy and their mind is right, everything else just falls into place,” he said at a press conference at comedian Steve Harvey’s recent “Disney’s Dreamer’s Academy” in Orlando, Fla. “But right now, most of the parents are overworked, working two and three jobs. They get home late at night, and there are no healthy meals at home for the kids. They don’t have a healthy meal plan. They don’t have a healthy exercise plan. They’re getting with the wrong crowd—we’re losing them.”

Walden has formed a group of his fitness colleagues to “go around some of these schools and start some boot camps” and claims he will be “sitting down with people on the federal level” in California later this week.

“If schools aren’t going to put physical education back in, hopefully we can work something out where we go to the school and give them something back,” he said.


Tiffany C. Ginyard Special to the AFRO

AFRO Managing Editor