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SOUTH SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A South Sacramento girl is trying to combat childhood obesity one mile at a time.

Eleven-year-old Savanna Karmue has her heart dedicated to heart health and her heart set on a national audience.

Karmue wants to be a cardiologist when she grows up, and when she learned that one in five children are obese in this country, she felt she had a calling to change that.

Inspiration comes in small packages. In the case of Karmue, it’s an enthusiasm that’s as infectious as it is sobering.

“Two-thousand people die every single day because of one disease: cardiovascular disease, and I didn’t want to wait to become a cardiologist to help people, and I wanted to start immediately,” she said.

At 9 years old, she started a nonprofit that raises awareness about childhood obesity called Happy Heart Advices. Two years later, she’s taking her message a step further with the Happy Heart Winter Challenge, where she gathers sponsors to run a mile a day and posts informational videos online. She even gave us a glimpse into her kitchen for some heart-healthy food choices.

“This here is our spinach, and it’s really rich in fiber and iron, which is really good for your heart,” she said.

Last year, her work earned Karmue the Unsung Hero award at the state Capitol.

But her biggest impact, according to her father, has been at home.

“We never thought twice about what we ate, and it’s amazing how much children will make you do things,” said Quanuquanei Karmue, her father. “It was Savanna who said, ‘Daddy, no more McDonald’s.'”

Savanna has already written a book about the ways kids can get heart healthy.


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