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South Bronx Program Encourages Healthy Lifestyles

South Bronx Program Encourages Healthy Lifestyles
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What do you do when you're waiting to be seen at the doctor's office? Likely it's flip threw a magazine, watch television or catch up on e-mail on your phone, right? One Bronx-based program wants to make better use of that idle time.

GrowNYC's Learn It Grow It Eat It program works to improve the health of residents in the South Bronx.

The program concentrates in the Morrisania neighborhood because officials say it has the highest rates of diabetes and high blood pressure in New York State. 
 
Every week they educate folks in waiting rooms at Bronx Lebanon Hospital.
 
Gabriel Camejo lives in the community, and says he knows the problem all too well.
 
"I mean in the South we have lot of restaurants and fast food places," Camejo said.  "It's really important for the community to have access to fruits and vegetables and also teach them about how they can change their diet and their lifestyle, so it's really important to help." 
 
Alliyah Smalls also interns with GrowNYC and helps to spread the word about healthy eating habits. 
 
"Sometimes the waiting rooms are pretty empty, but we manage to capture their attention and so they're listening to what we have to say," Smalls said.  "But other times it's very busy and we dont get the response we'd like. We try to make the presentations really fun so not only the adults pay attention, but the kids can participate as well."
 
Besides giving presentations at Bronx Lebanon, The Learn It Grow It Eat It Program works with three local high schools and hosts farmers markets in the summer.