Monday, August 5, 2013

Announcing the 2013 Texas Health Champions!

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The Center for Healthy Living and Live Smart Texas are proud to announce two winners for the 2013 Texas Health Champion Award. We would like to tip our hats to Dr. William (Bill) G. Squires, Jr. Professor of Biology and Kinesiology at Texas Lutheran University and Texas-based grocery store H-E-B for their outstanding local contributions to the fight against the national obesity epidemic.

Dr. Squires has shown incredible leadership as Chair of the Seguin School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC), implementing impressive programs in the school district to bolster physical activity among community members. By advocating analysis of neighborhood routes and pairing up with the local DA office to declare crime-free zones, Dr. Squires has brought the Safe Routes to School program to Seguin. This program, paired with his project to build trails around nine local elementary schools, has helped citizens of Seguin to find safe places to walk and stay fit. The work Dr. Squires has done provides admirable models for programs that can be employed in other counties across Texas.

H-E-B has used its prodigious influence as a company to educate its clientele on nutrition and promote healthier food choices. Through their work with a team of nutritionists, H-E-B has bolstered the nutritional value of their products, bringing them up to national nutrition standards. They have taken care to offer savings to customers on healthy foods, especially at the end of the month, when some lower-income families may run out of money. The company has not only provided their customers with healthy options, they have also put efforts into raising health awareness by promoting healthy food in their stores through healthy recipe suggestions and holding events like Slimdown Showdown to bring attention to healthy lifestyles. H-E-B’s efforts have helped to improve healthy eating choices where they begin—the grocery store; their many locations mean their work will be far-reaching.

The awards will be presented at the Texas Health Champion Award Ceremony on Thursday, September 12th in Austin (click here to register). For more details about the ceremony and Texas Obesity Awareness Week, visit

Written by
Jessica Bickel-Barlow

Jessica Bickel-Barlow just completed her sophomore year at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She is pursuing a double major in Radio, Television, Film (RTVF) and English Literature and a minor in Theater. This summer she has been keeping busy with internships at Austin Film Festival and Badgerdog Creative Writing Camp as well as with her work in the Communications Department at the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living.