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Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks in February at the Holiday Inn in Mount Vernon. / The Southern File Photo

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is partnering with a national fitness icon to help combat childhood obesity in the elementary and middle schools.

"Body by Jake" fitness evangelist Jake Steinfeld is bringing National Foundation for Governor's Fitness Councils' physical fitness campaign to Illinois. The campaign encourages elementary and middle school educators to come up with new ideas for encouraging healthy habits among children.

The governor said the fitness expert and the foundation will help "turn the tide" against the childhood obesity epidemic.

Three schools selected by the foundations will be awarded with $100,000 state-of-the-art fitness centers.

The nomination process runs now through mid-June.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports about 1 in 6 children is obese.

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