On Feb. 25, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors approved a request to apply for two grants that would support the Childhood Obesity Prevention Program.
The monies would come from the United Health Group/Pacific Care Grant in the amount of $551,631 and the Community Foundation Grant in the amount of $11,000.
Supervisor Jim Patterson said that childhood obesity in SLO County is a significant problem, noting that these grants are an attempt to prevent future troubles.
"The reason I think it's so important to invest in this is because so many of our children are obese or are at risk to become obese, and [obesity] is linked to a variety of chronic diseases," he said. "By investing in this, we can save money and solve a problem that could lead to bigger problems down the road."
If the county receives the money, Patterson said it would be used in part to hire a counselor who would coordinate diet and exercise plans for the task force.
According to the American Heart Association, childhood obesity is one of America's leading health threats. Currently, 11 million kids are overweight, and an additional 13 million are at risk for being overweight.