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Bronx Native Jennifer Lopez Promotes Healthy Living in the Borough

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With the Bronx rated the least healthy county in New York, the borough enlisted some star power on Sunday to turn things around. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.

Sampling vegan, organic, gluten free products, Jennifer Lopez came back to the Bronx Sunday to help residents get healthy.

"The Bronx ranks last among all the New York counties and I just felt like, 'Wow, we really need to turn this around,'" Lopez said.

So there was some Zumba and some meal preparations to help launch the Center for a Healthy Childhood at Montefiore Medical Center.

"We want to together tackle the issues of obesity in this borough. Fifty percent of the children are obese," said Montefiore Medical Center President Dr. Steven Safyer.

The Lopez Family Foundation donated $250,000 for the hospital initiative.

"State Farm was kind enough to want to support our foundation because Jennifer was coming home to the Bronx to do the concert and so the $250,000 donation they gave us, we wanted to dedicate it all to the Center for a Healthy Childhood," said Lopez Family Foundation Co-founder Lynda Lopez.

Organizers say providing nutritional information is key so residents can choose healthy options.

"We have a responsibility ourselves to exercise, to eat better, to educate ourselves," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

At one point, samples of a plant-based drink were handed out to the crowd.

"I grew up on rice and beans and pork chops and all that kind of stuff so for me it was like, plants?" Lopez said.

But Lopez pushing greens and proteins made an impact, especially on 13-year-old Daniela Tice who suffers from diabetes.

"I think it's wonderful. She's an inspiration to everybody. To all the people in the Bronx. And she's a really great person," Tice said.

The health campaign made some want to try some protein powder.

"Organic, gluten free everything," said Bronx resident Julio Medrano. "I'm about to try it now."

And it's these little steps that the center hopes will make big strides in the borough's well being.

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