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South L.A. Halloween carnival to stress healthy eating

October 25, 2010 |  2:23 pm

Fruit and vegetables will replace candy as the tasty treat for scores of South Los Angeles children this Friday during the first Healthy Halloween Carnival.

Children are being encouraged to dress up as their favorite fruit or vegetable and attend the festival, where they will learn about exercise and healthy food options.

The free event is being organized by the Brotherhood Crusade Youth Development Program, an academic and social advocacy group.

“It’s really about empowering our community,” said Charisse Bremond Weaver, president and chief executive of the Brotherhood Crusade. “You begin to look at health in a way that young people can understand. There’s no better opportunity than at Halloween.”

Research shows that South Los Angeles ranks among the worst communities in the nation when it comes to obesity, hypertension, diabetes and a lack of safe places for children to play, Bremond Weaver said.

The carnival is an attempt to reverse this situation and promote healthy lifestyles community-wide, she said.

Friday’s expo will include a chef demonstrating preparation of healthy food; farmers market vendors offering free samples of fruits, vegetables and treats made from produce, such as banana bread and apple cider; and games that promote physical activity.

From 750 to 1,000 visitors are expected to attend the event, scheduled from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the EXPO Center at 3980 Menlo Ave.

-- Ann M. Simmons