Monday, June 25, 2007

Shaq to Attack Childhood Obesity-Supports PE


Next Sunday, Shaquille O'Neal, the 7-foot, 325-pound center from pro basketball's Miami Heat, works with 6 overweight youth on his new ABC reality show, "Shaq's Big Challenge."

O'Neal's mission: to transform the lives of six obese children -- none of whom can run a mile -- into fit, active kids with a healthful outlook on life. It won't be easy with this bunch. One of the boys is addicted to "pizza burritos," and another enjoys bowls of popcorn doused with two sticks of melted butter.

But the threat to children's health goes beyond the home, as O'Neal sees it: The abundance of junk food and lack of focus on physical education in the nation's schools also are problems.

"I had mandatory P.E.," he said. "Now, only six percent of schools have mandatory P.E. That's terrible," according to O'Neal.