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Schwarzenegger wants school junk food ban

Associated Press | March 7, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio -California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to pump up his state's students with vegetables, fresh fruits and milk.

"First of all, we in California this year are introducing legislation that would ban all the sale of junk food in the schools," Schwarzenegger said during a question-and-answer session with fans on the final day of the Arnold Classic, the annual bodybuilding contest that bears his name. He said junk food would be pulled from school vending machines in favor of healthier foods, including fruits and vegetables.

After the session Sunday, the governor's aides said Schwarzenegger supports a bill by Democratic state Sen. Martha Escutia that would ban soft drinks at public schools.

The administration also hopes to develop a more comprehensive legislative package dealing with snack foods later in the year, said Chief of Staff Pat Clarey, although she added it might not eliminate all junk food from schools.

Topics at the question-and-answer session ranged from fitness to whether Schwarzenegger wants to be president. Several hundred fans at the Columbus Veterans Memorial auditorium were invited to ask the former world bodybuilding champion whatever they wanted.

With fellow former Mr. Olympia Franco Columbo at his side, Schwarzenegger spent about 50 minutes answering questions.

Many people asked detailed queries about workout routines. Schwarzenegger talked knowledgeably on how best to improve the deltoid muscles - numerous repetitions, tailored to the three separate deltoid muscle groups, front, middle, and back.

Schwarzenegger said he still does 30 to 45 minutes of cardio each day and lifts weights about four days a week. He said he misses doing heavy lifting, but doctors banned it after his heart surgery in 1997.

At one point, Schwarzenegger delivered what amounted to a motivational lecture after a questioner betrayed some discouragement about his own fitness potential. Schwarzenegger told him to visualize his goal, never lose sight of the vision and work toward it.

"As you know, I'm a big believer in the mind," Schwarzenegger said. "Just be positive, and kick some butt."

At the men's bodybuilding finals the night before, Schwarzenegger had called on bodybuilding to get rid of steroids, which are reportedly rampant in the sport. He got one question on the topic Sunday, from a sixth-grader.

The girl asked the governor to explain why he's said publicly he doesn't regret his own past steroid use. Schwarzenegger reiterated that at the time he took the drugs they were new to the market and weren't illegal.

People shouldn't take steroids now - "A, they are harmful for the body, and B, they are illegal," he said.

Schwarzenegger was asked whether he would consider running for president if the Constitution were amended to allow foreign-born citizens to serve in the office. As in the past, he said he's focused on governing California.

"I'm not saying no I'm not interested in it, but I'm not concentrating on it," he said.