Middle School Students Encouraged to Eat Right, Exercise

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If this story ends up leaking what becomes Altoona High School's best kept basketball and football secret, then it might have been a mistake for Chris Nimon to get in front of the camera.

"I run a lot, I do exercises...I lift weights," he said.

Along with the sports, he's serves as one of six council members who are trying to keep their middle school classmates in shape and active.

"I think that most people are kinda into it," council member Savanna Milbee said.

The concept had been discussed in Altoona for years, but an $1,800 grant from the Department of Public Instruction actually made it happen in October.

"The energy and time that people have put in to do this has gone far beyond the money that's there," Principal Jack Wagener said.

Lunches are now packed with fruit and vegetables, and exercise is rewarded.

"We have pedometers that keep track of our steps and contests between the grades," Milbee said.

Chris says he'll remember seventh grade as the time when he cut much of the junk food out of his diet.

"It's been a change in my life."

With it comes potential to make an impact in high school athletics, and buck a trend that's worried doctors and teachers alike.