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Detroit — Surrounded by a group of students, a group of Lions players, including running backs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell, answered questions about their diets.

They extolled the virtues of fruits and vegetables and exercise and the importance they all have in staying healthy and ready for daily practice and weekly games.

The Lions' "Meet Up & Eat Up" community event occurs weekly at Eastern Market, this time with fourth-grade students from Bethune Academy. The students got a chance to hear from the Lions and to purchase healthy snacks from vendors with Michigan-grown products at Eastern Market.

Bush said it was a unique opportunity, especially to learn about eating healthy snacks at such a young age. When he was younger, there was nothing similar to compare it to.

"Nothing like this. I didn't learn how to eat healthy until I got in the NFL," Bush said, "and I started playing football when I was eight years old."

For Bell, who played at Wayne State, getting out and spending time with the students was a chance to give back, even if only for a small chunk of the team's off day.

"These are things they'll never forget. You take an hour out of your day to put a lifetime impression on a young child who might look up to you," Bell said. "If I can take an hour out of my day on my day off, I really don't mind it."

Other Lions players at the event included running backs Theo Riddick, Jed Collins, Emil Igwenagu and George Winn, along with tight end Jordan Thompson and Lions alums Mel Farr Sr. and Mel Gray.

rod.beard@detroitnews.com

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