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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Sam Bradford Tells Kids to Get Outside and Play
credits:Chris Casteel The Oklahoman

WASHINGTON — Go outside and play, kids. It worked for Sam Bradford

That was the message the St. Louis Rams quarterback delivered Wednesday outside the U.S. Department of Agriculture building, where he helped American Indian and other children plant a garden.

He delivered the same message to parents.

"Get your youth outside," he said. "It's not all on them."

Bradford, a member of the Cherokee Nation, teamed up with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and other officials to promote nutrition and exercise for American Indian youths, whose rates of obesity and diabetes are much higher of other populations.

Bradford said he lived a healthy lifestyle that was strictly enforced by his mother.

"My mom wouldn't let me sit in the house," said Bradford, who grew up in Oklahoma City before winning the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore for the University of Oklahoma. "She would limit my TV to an hour a day. After that hour was up, I was out the door. What I was doing, it was up to me, whether it was playing football, playing basketball … There was a creek by my house that I used to go out to."

The National Football League is co-sponsoring Fuel Up to Play 60, an exercise and nutrition program in schools.

Vilsack said the garden planted outside the USDA building was one of 1,300 around the country that, last year, provided more than 90,000 pounds of fresh produce to food kitchens and pantries.

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