Turning Over A New (Spinach?) Leaf

photo by Heidi Splete

photo by Heidi Splete

From the CDC’s Weight of the Nation conference, Washington, DC–

Former President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker at Weight of the Nation 2009, a conference sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss issues that have contributed to the obesity epidemic in America, including food systems, transportation, and lack of access to affordable, healthy food.

Clinton was somewhat notorious for his less than healthy habits while in office from 1993-2001. But a decade and a heart bypass later, he has emerged as Clinton 2.0, a philanthropist and, among other things, an advocate against childhood obesity.

Whatever your opinions of Clinton may be, it seems that these days he is truly using his influence for a good cause. At the meeting, Clinton accepted the Pioneering Innovation award from CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden on behalf of Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization co-founded by his Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association. I haven’t spend a lot of time on the website, but from my brief visit it looks like this group is  truly committed to fostering healthy habits in kids.

But the story of the Clinton impact on health isn’t over–you heard it here–according to her dad, former first daughter Chelsea Clinton has left the high-powered consulting world to pursue graduate work in . . . public health! Clinton 3.0? We’ll see.

–Heidi Splete (on twitter @hsplete)

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