ROYAL OAK (WWJ) – Hundreds of Oakland County kids have been getting a jumpstart on a lifetime of healthy habits, by putting one foot in front of the other.

Third and fourth graders from Royal Oak’s Shrine Catholic Grade School stepped their way to first place in Oakland County’s 10th Annual “Count Your Steps” Program.

Over the course of four weeks kids from more than one hundred schools use pedometers to track their steps.

On Tuesday, students celebrated with a wrap up party and walk at the Detroit Zoo.

Third grader Michael Gonzalez had a strategy for getting extra steps.

“When I got home I would just like play soccer and run around and do laps,” Gonzalez told WWJ Health Reporter Sean Lee.

County Health Director George Miller said the students also tracked their produce intake.

“The kids must have eaten at least three busloads of fruits and vegetables; got them introduced to some new things,” Miller said. “I think that the biggest piece of this is it not only gets the kids out walking, but it gets the parents out walking — so it’s a whole lifestyle change for everybody.”

County Executive L. Brooks Patterson started the program in 2004 as part of an effort to combat childhood obesity.

Learn more about the program at this link.

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