FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2004
AUSTIN, TX--On Friday the American Cancer Society presented Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. the "Texas Advocacy Award" at the Harlingen Relay for Life for outstanding legislative advocacy.
The award recognizes Sen. Lucio for his legislative efforts to combat obesity and its related diseases like cancer, by improving nutrition and health among public school children. A bill he authored last session--Senate Bill 474--created the Joint Interim Committee on Nutrition and Health in Public Schools.
"Senator Lucio is a leader in the legislative effort to improve the health and nutrition of Texas children, and his efforts will have a significant impact in the fight against cancer," stated American Cancer Society Harlingen Volunteer, June Toland "We look forward to working with him as he continues to address this important public health issue."
"I am deeply honored to be recognized by an organization that shares my goals: to save lives and improve the quality of life for people of all ages," said Sen. Lucio. "My sister, Helen Lucio Garza, a survivor of cancer, has been a great inspiration in my life and in my legislative efforts to do all I can to improve the health of our children now and in the future. In fact, I thank God daily for her and for the many survivors, as well as those battling the disease, who show so much courage and determination. Indeed, they all inspire me greatly."
The American Cancer Society reports that almost 40 percent of children in Texas are considered overweight or obese, putting them at increased risk for chronic and debilitating diseases including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, early signs of heart disease and certain types of cancers.
"Not only do we want our children to avoid such serious diseases as cancer by improving nutrition in our schools and encouraging health through exercise and other wellness programs, but we want our children to perform better in school," noted Sen. Lucio "Numerous studies indicate that healthier children perform better both in the classroom and on standardized tests.
"I look forward to input from the American Cancer Society as we further our legislative efforts to make Texas children the healthiest and fittest in the nation! Today's Relay is taking us a step further in our goals and I congratulate all the participants."