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Ag Secretary Speaks in Maine About Nutrition
03/14/2013 01:28 PM ET  

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says fostering healthy eating habits in young people is crucial to maintaining the nation's security.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is emphasizing the need for America's youth to have healthy eating habits, saying it's a matter of national security as well as educational achievement and health care.

Speaking Thursday at the Barbara Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Vilsack said when children are healthy, school performance improves and health care costs go down.

He says poor nutritional habits have an impact on the nation's military readiness. He says there's a shrinking pool of young people who are considered fit enough to serve in the military, in part because they're overweight or obese.

Following his talk at Maine Medical Center, Vilsack was visiting the U.S. Coast Guard station in South Portland to underscore his point.



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