LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Former President Bill Clinton honored 43 schools for their anti-obesity efforts, including one school that banished candy from its building and another that offers a student fitness club.

In a ceremony held this morning at his presidential library in Little Rock, AR, Clinton recognized schools from a dozen states for their participation in the Healthy Schools Program, a joint initiative of the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association.

“Despite the rising food prices and constrained budgets impacting programs nationally, these schools are using innovative approaches to curb the country’s alarming rates of childhood obesity,” Clinton said prior to the ceremony. “Schools around the country are stepping up and making progress.”

The honored schools included Kenly Elementary School in Tampa, FL, which banished candy from its building, and New Jersey’s Pine Hill Middle School, which offers a fitness club to students and where the staff does yoga twice a week.

The Healthy Schools Program, which began in 2006, now includes nearly 3,000 schools and more than 1.6 million students. The program provides in-person support to 1,364 schools, and program leaders hope to boost that number to 8,000 by 2010.