Elected Officals, parents, youth starting to "weigh in" on childhood obesity issues

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The kids may have been in the kitchen, but the politicians were the ones doing the cooking.

Their presence, though, was all for a good cause in attending the Junior League of Brooklyn (JLB) Kids in the Kitchen Fair last week in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

The annual event, this year held at The Academy of Business & Community Development, I.S. 336, on Macon Street, focuses on raising awareness and reversing the growth of childhood obesity.

It came with the alarming statistic that more than 40 percent of public school children in Brooklyn between the ages of 6-12 are overweight. Dozens of kids and their parents attended the event.

“JLB has participated in this initiative each year since its inception, because we recognize the importance of healthy living and how it impacts communities,” said JLB President Tracie Williams.

The fair, held in the school gym, featured cooking demos, Zumba and Wii sports classes, free health screenings, a nutrition education workshop and a raffle.

Most of the politicians came out, though, in praise and respect of JLB, which is a 101-yea-old non-profit made up of local women volunteers.

“JLB has a history of service in our borough that is unsurpassed,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “As Brooklyn’s ‘get the job done’ organization, I applaud their effort to continue providing valuable services throughout Brooklyn and their commitment to combating the issue of childhood obesity and poor nutrition in our communities.”

Other politicians at the event included Assemblywoman Annette Robinson and state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery.

Arriving separately and at different times were U.S. Rep. Ed Towns and Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who may be vying next year for the congressional seat.

A Towns spokesperson confirmed the 29-year incumbent will again seek re-election, and Jeffries has set up an exploratory committee to make a run.

City Councilman Charles Barron, who did not attend the event, is also vying a run for the seat.