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Oklahoma Wildfires Threaten More Homes; Jobs Added In July; U.S. Ranked 31 In Education; The Sacrifice of An Olympian; Super Saturday in London; Jumping Goat Is A Star; Battle in Aleppo for Radio/TV Building

Aired August 4, 2012 - 06:00   ET


RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is EARLY START WEEKEND.

Job numbers are up, but so is unemployment. As each candidate puts his spin on the new report, we'll give you the facts and what it means for the economy.

Plus, we might be number one here, but we're nowhere close here. All morning we're putting education in focus. Why in the world is our system ranked lower than Ireland, Saudi Arabia, and Uzbekistan?

And later, it's not an all you can eat buffet. It is an Olympic menu. A nutritionist shows us what it takes to eat like a champion.

It is Saturday, August 4th. Good morning, everyone. So glad you're with us. I'm Randi Kaye.

We start this morning with wildfires in Oklahoma. Dozens of structures have been burned and at least 100 more homes are being threatened. The fires are being pushed by strong winds. The worst of it right now is in Cleveland County, that is south of Oklahoma City. Joining me now on the phone is Keli Cain, public information officer for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.

Keli, good morning.

KELI CAIN, OK EMERGENCY MGMT. (via telephone): Good morning.

KAYE: Are any evacuations being ordered at this hour?

CAIN: We haven't had any new evacuations overnight, which is good news, but we're definitely still watching these fires that were so dangerous yesterday. And we've also had a couple other small fires that have popped up overnight. So we're just keeping a good eye on things and we'll be looking in the morning at what resources are need and what we can send out to help.

KAYE: We are looking at some of these incredible -- this incredible video of the fires burning. How many fires are you dealing with? Do you have any idea?

CAIN: We had more than 12 fires that were just reported to our office yesterday. So we know there were additional fires out there that weren't reported. We had about probably six large fires that we were working on out of our office on sending resources, sending helicopter requests and that sort of thing to assist with. And there are four main fires that were going late last night that we're still keeping an eye on this morning that we know are going to require some additional assistance this morning.

KAYE: And do you know yet what is behind this? I mean was this from dry weather, from heat, or possibly arson?

CAIN: Absolutely the dry weather and heat played a huge role in this. We don't know yet, I don't think, whether arson was involved. I know that's still under investigation. But the drought that we've been experiencing here in Oklahoma played a very big roll.

KAYE: So you are looking into, though, the possibility of arson or have you ruled that out?

CAIN: That would be other agencies involve in that. And from what I've heard, they're investigating still.

KAYE: OK. And what about the homes? How many homes are being threatened or are lost at this point? And we're just trying to get an idea of where exactly these fires are burning.

CAIN: Well, you know that there have been hundreds of homes that have been threatened through these fires over the last 24 hours. I don't have a total yet on how many have been destroyed. But as you can probably imagine, any number of homes that have been destroyed are devastating for those people that are impacted. So, you know, our hearts and prayers go out to everyone who's been impacted by these fires.

KAYE: Keli Cain, appreciate the update, calling in from the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. Thank you very much.

Wildfires have a lot of fuel thanks to the ongoing drought across the country. Take a look at this drought map. The darker areas show where it is worse. Right there in the middle of the country we are seeing the loss of crops and the Mississippi River getting dangerously low. And it doesn't seem like any relief is even on the way.

To medical news now. And there's a new strain of swine flu to tell you about. Sixteen people have been infected over the past few weeks. Most of them in Ohio, though no one was hospitalized. All of the cases this year are linked to contact with pigs. Usually it happens at places like the county fair.

There is a major spike in cases of West Nile Virus. Health officials say it is the biggest rise since 2004. So far we've seen 241 cases across the country with four deaths. One of those was in Houston this week. The virus can be especially harmful to people with compromised immune systems, like young children or the elderly.

In Colorado, the University of Colorado has hired an independent investigator to probe the school's handling of Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes. Holmes was being seen by university psychiatrist Lynne Fenton, who you see there in the photo. CNN affiliate KMGH reports that Fenton had concerns that Holmes might be a danger to others and told her colleague about it, but Holmes dropped out of school before any further evaluations were done.

Now to news about the economy. The new jobs report is kind of a mixed bag. More jobs were added than expected, but the unemployment rate still went up. CNN's Karin Caifa has the details and the reactions.


KARIN CAIFA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): July's jobs report brought mixed news about the state of economic recovery. More jobs, but more Americans unable to find work. According to the Labor Department, the nation's businesses created 163,000 jobs during July, beating economist's expectations of 95,000. But the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 8.3 percent from 8.2 percent in June.

Three jobs reports now remain before November's election. And with mixed numbers came mixed reviews. On the stump in Nevada, Republican Mitt Romney pointed to Friday's numbers and said President Obama's plans aren't working.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's another hammer blow to the struggling middle class families of America because the president has not had policies that put American families back to work. I do. I'll put them in place and get America working again.

CAIFA: Acknowledging there's still too many Americans out of work, the president noted 1.1 million jobs have been created this year and said the economy is headed in the right direction, albeit slowly.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Here's the thing. We are not going to get there. We're not going to get to where we need to be if we go back to the policies that helped to create this mess in the first place.

CAIFA: Three years after the recession's end, about 12.8 million Americans remain out of work. Just over 40 percent of them unemployed for six months or more.

In Washington, I'm Karin Caifa.


KAYE: So, how did the rate go up when we added more jobs than expected? Number one, there was an overall drop in the size of the labor force. Also, there was a drop in household employment. Manufacturing saw one of the biggest jumps with more than 25,000 jobs added.

Turning now to the 2012 Olympics and a quick check of the standings shows a tight race for those coveted gold medals. The United States leads the pack with 21 gold, edging out China by just one. South Korea, Great Britain, France and Germany also putting in strong showings. Overall, the U.S. leads all nation with a total of 43 medals. And leading the way for Team USA, swimmer Michael Phelps, who scored his third gold of the London games and the 17th of his career in the 100 meter butterfly.

So we want to hear from you about this. Who do you think is the real star of this year's Olympics? You can tweet me @RandiKayeCNN and I'll read some of your responses later on in the show this morning.

We're dominating at the Olympics, but why are we ranked so low when it comes to educating our children? This morning we are putting education in America in focus.


KAYE: Next week many school districts around the country will be reopening their doors and welcoming students back to the classroom. Now, for some, it will be their first time. Others will be wrapping up their schooling career. But regardless of their age, the future of American education is public schools is grim. Right now the U.S. ranks 31 in K-12 education. Reading and math proficiency are low and budget cuts are forcing teacher layoffs and school closures as well. For the rest of the morning, we're going to be putting education in focus. We'll start with a look at the facts.


KAYE (voice-over): Team USA has enjoyed a lot of success in this summer's Olympics. Number one in the world in a variety of events, from swimming to gymnastics, rowing to judo. But when it comes to K-12 education, the U.S. is number 31, below Ireland, Saudi Arabia, and Uzbekistan.

OMEKONGO DIBINGA, IREPORTER: Education is a crisis right now in this country. And I really wish that our politicians would get more serious about it because we are leaving children behind every single day.

KAYE: The 2012 Kids Count Report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that two out of three fourth graders in public school were not reading proficiently. An actual improvement from 2005. The report also noted that in most states the rate of eighth graders not proficient in math is over 60 percent. In Washington, D.C., it's as high as 83 percent. Numbers like these have prompted President Obama to call for reform.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As a nation, we've got a responsibility to give our students the resources they need from the highest quality schools, to the latest textbooks, to science labs that actually work. In return, we should demand better performance.

KAYE: In Nevada, ranked last by the report in education, the situation is so grim that some families are choosing to leave the state all together.

JEN MORRIS, MOTHER: We want our kids to be exposed to the most and have the most opportunities in life. And if the schools are not going to help out with that, then we need to possibly look elsewhere. KAYE: But school districts around the country are facing budget crisis and teacher layoffs. In Los Angeles, Unified School District has let go more than 8,500 teachers and other employees in the last four years as student enrollment dropped by 56,000. In Columbus, Ohio, between 2005 and 2010, enrollment dropped 10 percent. In Cleveland, down 20 percent. The good news? The high school dropout rate declined to 7 percent from 1990 to 2010.

But that doesn't mean incomes are rising. In fact, the annual income for a man with a high school diploma plummeted from $44,000 in 1980 to below $33,000 in 2009, according to the Department of Education.

ARNE DUNCAN, EDUCATION SECRETARY: This is one where we have to get our act together. (INAUDIBLE) -- you know, Congress is struggling these days. There's no question about that. And if there's going to be one issue that folks can unite behind, I can't think of a better one than around education and educating our way to a better economy.


KAYE: Education is the silver bullet. We've heard that before. But in Michigan, the gun is misfiring. And that's led to a lawsuit over a failure to teach. That is our focus next hour. Are kids prepared? We'll find out.

And as kids head back to school next week, it's going to be a great weekend to hit those back to school sales. That's because many states are helping out with tax-free holidays. There are 17 states that have the dates set. Most of them are this weekend. Of course it's a big help for parents or grandparents looking it get some back to school items for the kids.

From the U.S. to London and the making of an Olympian. She is the golden girl of gymnastics this year after winning the women's all around title. A look at what it took for Gabby Douglas to get that gold.

But first, a very good morning to a foggy New York City clearly there. Folks are waking up. Glad you're with us, New York.


KAYE: Gabby Douglas. If you didn't know her name last week, well, you certainly do now. The 16-year-old gymnast is America's new golden girl, winning the most coveted title in women's gymnastics. She now has the distinction of being the first African-American woman to win the gold in the women's individual all-around competition. But she didn't make Olympic history without years of sacrifice. Her mom tells us what it took for Gabby to get to the top.



NATALIE HAWKINS, MOTHER OF GABBY DOUGLAS: The competition started a long time ago. Who could run the fastest. Who could jump the farthest. Who could jump higher on the couch.

When she started really expressing an interest to do gymnastics, her sister, Arielle, just kept saying, she's really good, mom, you got to put her in it. She wants to try it. You got to put her in.

After years of persuading me, I finally gave in and took her to a trial class. She just never wanted to come out of the gym. She loved it. She would just practice all the time. So I saw then the hard work. I didn't realize when I got into this sport how expensive it was. Just the commitment over the years, sometimes it felt crushing.

I didn't think I'd be able to keep her in the sport. But then I would think about it and I would say, you got to fight. If I had to sell -- I've sold almost all my jewelry. And if I had to pick up extra shifts at work, whatever it takes.

When she began competing, it's hard. You go through this whole range of emotions. You're nervous. You're excited. Even when she was like a level four, we'd be on the edge of our seats.

Probably in about 2008, we were watching the Olympics at a friend's house. She said, I think I can do that.


KAYE: Only three other Americans have ever won the women's gymnastics all-around title. Mary Lou Retton back in 1984. Then, 20 years later, Carly Patterson took the gold in Athens, followed by Nastia Liukin in 2008. And now the fabulous Gabby Douglas.

The first week of the Olympics is in the history books, literally, for some of the world's greatest athletes. The U.S. women's soccer team is on to the semifinals after defeating New Zealand 2-0.

In swimming, American Missy Franklin set a new world record after winning gold in the 200 meter backstroke. And Michael Phelps took home his third gold of the London games. That brings his career high to 17 gold.

But today it's all about super Saturday. We go now to Olympic Park in London and that's where we find Alex Thomas.

Alex, good morning.

So, Michael Phelps returns to the pool today. What do you think we can expect?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Michael Phelps is competing in the 4x100 meter medley relay. It will be the last time we see him compete as an Olympian in the swimming pool. Very soon we're going to have to get used to describing arguably the greatest Olympian of all time as a former swimmer. And that will get some getting used to. You know, many forget that he made his debut as a 15-year-old back at the Sydney Olympic games in 2000.

For a dozen years now, Michael Phelps has thrilled us with his achievements in the aquatic senses at different Olympic games. Athens. Then those eight golds in Beijing. And then here at London, which has been seen as something of a failure at first, but he's still going to come out with at least three golds and two silver, probably a fourth gold later on, taking his overall tally to 22 Olympic medals, including what will be 18 or 19 gold medals.

Eighteen golds he will end up with if the USA can win that relay title later on. And that's sort of the extraordinary achievements and we should get ready to tip our caps and say farewell to one of the greatest Olympians of all time.

KAYE: Yes, that's going to be tough for a lot of folks. Certainly a lot of his fans.

But let's talk about what's happening back on dry land. The track and field events certainly heating up as we get our first look at the world's fastest main, Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt.

THOMAS: Yes, if you talk about the Olympics being the running, the jumping, the throwing, it's all about the track and field, isn't it? Day two in the main Olympic stadium behind me. I was there yesterday morning when it all started. The first action that stadium had seen since last Friday's opening ceremony. The atmosphere was absolutely electric. Jam packed. Huge cheers, especially for the Brits, of course.

But, if you're looking outside the home nation's competitors, then Usain Bolt is hugely popular too. The defending Olympic champion for four years ago. The man with the famous celebration who smashed the world record, did it again in the world championships the next year. And now seems to be coming back to his best at a time when he's never had more rivals like his fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake, the reigning world champion, Asafa Powell, Americans Tyson Gay and also Justin Gatlin, who missed Beijing after his drugs ban. So really it is a mouth watering clash in the men's 100 meters final. The final will be on Sunday. They're running the heats today later on, on this Saturday night. Super Saturday, as you quite rightly described it.

It's going to be the women's 100 meters final and that's going to be a close one too. The Jamaicans swept the podium four years ago. And Carmelita Jeter of the United States, and her fellow American runners, don't want to see that happen again.

KAYE: Yes. Well, super Saturday also marks the Olympic debut of Oscar Pistorius, the athlete who's really overcame amazing obstacles to make it to the track. Tell us a little bit more about his story.

THOMAS: You're right. Oscar Pistorius, the man that lost his legs at a very young age and has no chip on his shoulder about the fact that he has to run with what are called these cheater legs. People have described him as springs, but that would be slightly wrong because in a court of arbitration for sports, scientists have proved that he gets no unfair advantage, hence why he's allowed to be the first runner to compete both here at the Olympics and then go on in a month's time to compete in the Paralympics, too, where he's already won gold medals in the past. So a moment of history to see the first Paralympian competing in track and field at an able-bodied games. And he got through his 400 meters heat. Not in a very fast time, but he knew he was in the top two. He looked around. He eased down. He's got plenty in the tank for the semifinals, but he's not expected to reach the final. It's slightly controversial for some that Oscar's here, but mainly for most it's an absolute triumph. It's a question of inclusivity and it's a moment of history for the Olympic movement.

KAYE: Yes, it may be controversial, but it's certainly inspiring.

Alex, thank you so much. Nice to see you.

Back in the U.S., a member of the nudist club fear a road project will expose them to, well, yes, you get the picture.

Plus, a jumping goat? What else do you need to know? We've got a jumping goat.


KAYE: Welcome back. Twenty-six minutes past the hour. Checking some stories cross country.

We begin in Hawaii, where this fighter jet was forced to make an emergency landing in the northwest Hawaiian islands. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service camera captured the landing. The jet was one of four flying to Japan. Officials say they believe the jet was having some fuel problems.

And check out this surveillance video out of Garden Grove, California. You can see the robbery suspects running in, pointing their guns, and then watch. Suddenly, oh, they are running away. What you can't see is the 65-year-old woman behind the counter who stood her ground and shot at the robbers. Now, clearly, these guys messed with the wrong woman, no doubt. Now keep watching here. Look closely. On the lower right, yes, you see that little dog on the counter? Well, he's growling and standing his ground too. Police are still looking for the suspects. No one was hurt, nothing taken from that store. Look at that little guy go.

And members of an Indiana nudist camp -- yes, I said nudist camp -- are worried that a project to expand a major highway will, shall we say, expose them to noise and traffic.


BARBARA PERDUE, NUDIST: People come through that gate, it's -- they come in to relax. They don't want to hear tractor and trailers and cars and things flying up and down the highway.


KAYE: The project would bring the interstate right along Fern Hills Club, a private nudist resort founded more than 60 years ago. The state rejected the camp's request to put up a 20-foot concrete wall. Both sides now considering putting up natural barriers like trees and shrubs. In Maine, they're not paying attention to Olympic gymnastics. That's because they've got their own jumping goat who has become the new darling of the Internet. We get the story from Matt Thomas of affiliate WCSH in Houlton, Maine.


MATT THOMAS, WCSH REPORTER (voice-over): Kathryn Harnish and Rob Lawless moved to their hobby farm in Houlton 10 years ago. One of the animals on the farm is a Nigerian dwarf dairy goat named Buttermilk. She is six weeks years old and she is a new YouTube sensation after a video of her jumping over other goats made it on the "Today" show on Tuesday.

KATHRYN HARNISH, BUTTERMILK'S OWNER: One of my colleagues from out in Ohio had said, I think I saw your goat on the "Today" show. And I thought, yeah, right. And then another colleague who lives in Houston said, your goats were on the "Today" show. I thought, I'd better go figure this out. And so I went and looked and, sure enough, there they were talking about our goats from London.

THOMAS: Harnish posted the video of Buttermilk on Friday. She said at the time that if the video got 1,000 hits she and Rob would make a $25 donation to Farm Sanctuary that helps rescue and rehabilitate farm animals. So now that they're hurdling goat has been seen by millions --

HARNISH: Well, we made the donation for the first 1,000 views of the video. And we're talking with Farm Sanctuary about how we might be able to work together to help benefit the work that they do.

THOMAS: Harnish says Buttermilk has been jumping around pretty much since she was born. But what they captured on video was a first.

HARNISH: When we brought her out the day to run in the yard and took the video, that was the first time we'd ever seen the real sort of karate kid moves that she was doing.

ROB LAWLESS, BUTTERMILK'S OWNER: The kicking and knocking them over. That's the first time she'd ever done that. We'd never seen her kick the other ones over before. So it was sort of serendipity that we caught it on video.

THOMAS: And while Harnish and Lawless still can't believe all the attention their little goat has received in a short amount of time, they don't think it will change Buttermilk all that much. She'll still be a handful.


KAYE: Oh, did you see her just knocking down the other goats? Oh, man. She was adorable. And that was Matt Thomas from affiliate WCSH. And so far, by the way Buttermilk's you tube video has been viewed 2.9 million times. At 25 bucks for every 1,000 hits, the family would be on the hook for more than $72,000. So, it's a good thing that they didn't make that promise after all. We've been riveted by the competition at the summer games, but what does it take to compete at this level? We will pull up a chair to the Olympic training table and let you know what keeps these world class athletes performing at their peak.


KAYE: It is the bottom of the hour. Welcome back. I'm Randi Kaye, thanks for starting your day with us. We are keeping an eye on Africa today. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues her African visit with a stop in Kenya. On Friday, Mrs. Clinton stopped to visit a school in South Sudan. She is in the region to discuss security with Kenyan authorities and the leaders of Somalia's outgoing transitional government.

A traveling twist in the suspected Ebola outbreak in Uganda. One of five prisoners showing symptoms and receiving treatment escaped overnight from the hospital at the center of the outbreak, the outbreak began in Western Uganda with 53 confirmed cases. At least, sixteen have died and additional 312 people are suspected of being infected.

Police in Peru tearing through massive feels of marijuana. They have already destroyed 55 tons of the plants. Two hundred seven thousand plants were found growing in a remote part of the country. Just this week, Peru was named as the top cocaine producer in the world and now this.

The battle for Aleppo continues to rage in Syria the day after the U.N. general assembly passed a resolution slamming the Syrian government for its actions against its own people. We have reports of fighting for control of the state-run TV and radio studios there in Aleppo.

Joining me now from Northern Syria is CNN senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman. Ben, what is the latest that you are hearing from Aleppo? Do we know exactly who has control of this building that houses the TV and radio studio?

BEN WEDEMAN, BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Randi, what we do know is that there were intense battles overnight around this broadcasting building in central Aleppo. And eventually, the free Syrian army forces were able to take control of the building. However, in the early hours of the morning, we are told that the building came under bombardment or bombing some Syrian aircraft, airports, aircrafts and they apparently have abandoned the building especially because it was too much of an easy target for the government forces.

We are told however that they did leave the flag of the free Syrian army flying over the building and it does represent something of a symbolic hit for the Syrian regime. That is a broadcasting building obviously at this point no longer able to put out a signal to the northern part of the country. Elsewhere in Aleppo, the battle still rages for control of this critical city. In Northern Syria, we're getting report of continuing large columns of military vehicles heading from Latatia (ph) on the Syrian coast towards the city of Aleppo to reinforce government forces in and around Aleppo -- Randi.

KAYE: But meanwhile, Secretary Clinton is saying that it's only a matter of time for the Assad regime. From based on what you are seeing and hearing, is she right, do you think?

WEDEMAN: Well, she may be right, but that's the fairly vague statement that clearly it's not a matter of days or weeks before this regime falls. But certainly if you look at the international isolation which Syria has become subject to, if you look at what appears to be the gradually slowly growing, fighting capability of the opposition, it does seem that it is only a matter of time. But that, it could be many months before this regime falls. It clearly has not lost the will despite were seeing an increasing number of defections by army officers but they are still many and clearly arm loyal to the regime and ready to fight and die for it -- Randi.

KAYE: And Kofi Annan, the U.N. special envoy, he has now stepped down under pressure. Does that do you think have any impact on the unrest there?

WEDEMAN: Well, most of the people you speak to don't seem to think it's going to make any difference. Because it really didn't -- his admission did not really make much difference before Mr. Annan resigned. It was very much diplomatic window dressing, the fighting since the beginning of the U.N. Arab League mission in Syria has only intensified and the fact that he has resigned doesn't seem to have had any real impact on the fighting on the ground -- Randi.

KAYE: Ben Wedeman, thank you very much for your reporting there. Stay safe. They have spent countless hours training to get to where they are, but what are the athletes at the summer games eating? We hope you are hungry. We'll look at what it takes to fuel a world class athlete.


KAYE: Welcome back. Acid attacks, poisoned water and the daily fear of violence keeps school girls and their teachers in Afghanistan fearing for their lives. But while terrorist trying to keep them from getting an education, this week's CNN hero is fearlessly giving them one. An opening minds in the process all for free. Meet Razia Jan.


RAZIA JAN, CHAMPIONING CHILDREN: In Afghanistan, most of the girls have no voice. They are used as property of a family. The picture is very grim.

My name is Razia Jan, and I'm the founder of a girl's school in Afghanistan. When we opened the school in 2008, 90 percent of them could not write their name. Today, 100 percent of them are educated. They can read, they can write.

I lived in the U.S. for over 38 years, but I was really affected by 9/11. I really wanted to prove that Muslims are not terrorists. I came back here in 2010. Girls have been the most oppressed. And I thought I have to do something. It was a struggle in the beginning. I would sit with these men and I would tell them don't marry them when they're 14 years old. They want to learn.

How do you write your father's name? After five years now, the men are proud of their girls when they themselves can write their name. Very good.

Still, we have to take these precautions. Some people are so much against girls getting educated. We provide free education to over 350 girls. I think it's like a fire. It will grow. Every year my hope becomes more. I think I can see the future.


KAYE: Jan was nominated by a viewer just like you. So, if you know someone who is making a difference in your community, just visit to nominate them. Your nomination could help them help others.


KAYE: You are what you eat. That well-known phrase probably hit the American mainstream when nutritionist Victor Lindlahr wrote a book by the same title about 70 year ago. But what are you if you consume 10,000 calories a day? Well, then you probably should be training like Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps. You may remember, Phelps poking some fun at his diet when he hosted "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" just a few years ago.


MICHAEL PHELPS, 17 TIME OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: Tired of suffering through a salad at lunch?

Then cozy up to a pound of pasta, three Cuban sandwiches smothered in mayonnaise, a fried turkey stuffed with molasses, a barrel of Halloween candy and to wash it all down? A pitcher of Hollandaise sauce

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Now, that's a lunch.


KAYE: Joining me now is registered dietitian Paige Love. Good morning to you.


KAYE: So, we have a table hereof food. Because not everybody can eat like Phelps, right? I mean, some people need to eat like Gabby Douglas for example, the Olympian. So, what would her diet look like compared to a Phelps' diet?

LOVE: Well, we are looking at a 200 pound athlete versus a 100 pound athlete. So, we can say, he needs twice if not three times as much and he's doing a lot longer distance endurance kind of swimming. She still needs the same types of foods, but the portions would be scaled down.

For example, we might be looking at her meat portion being the deck of cards or the palm of a woman's hand. And Michael Phelps' meat would be more about like this eight-ounce steak.

KAYE: OK. That's really the size to go by, right? Even for the rest of us at home. It's the palm size.

LOVE: Well, petite size person. We have petite size athlete, it would need really close to the palm of their hand. That's a good kind of frame of reference for meat portion size. For pastas, for example, for fueling their exercise, she might need one cup of pasta where as he might need three cups of pasta.

KAYE: And of course, the grains and the fruit and the vegetables mixed in there as well?

LOVE: Yes. We still on this. The My Plate model which is the new government model for healthy eating. It works great for athletes for three-fourths of the plate is carbohydrates and one-fourth is protein. And this is where a lot of athletes go a little bit off track. They may have half the plate or two-thirds of the plate in protein. And a lot of female athletes in particular need to scale that down. Their -- doesn't weigh as much, they don't need quite as much.

KAYE: And they might not have to go so heavy on carbs, right?

LOVE: Yes.

KAYE: OK. What about for an average person who is just trying to stay fit. I mean, what is the right balance between a training regimen and eating? Because I have seen, you know, and I read a lot about this where a lot of people will overeat because they think they are training so much, they look at it as an excuse to just keep eating. So, what is the right balance?

LOVE: Some of the keys I talk about it every day, is a support nutritionist of our eating combinations of carbs and protein at every meal. For example, skim milk and a cereal, lean, luncheon met and whole grain wraps or breads. The tomato sauces and the pastas with lean ground meat inside. That combination is key to keep any active person to stabilize their blood sugar and keep them fuelled. Eating frequently and small meals throughout the day, carving up a little bit before activity and using proteins and fluids in the recovery.

KAYE: You mention a lot of protein, we have a protein powder here, plus we have some beans on the table and a lot of other protein sources. How much protein do you really need?

LOVE: It is based on your body size and a good -- about half of your body weight in grams. So, half of your pounds and grams, is a pretty representative example of what you need. And some athletes like the size of Michael Phelps may need something like a whey protein, but Gabby would really maybe just want a chocolate milk. This is something that we recommend a lot now for just the normal athlete to get to someone within the first half an hour. It's a nice balance. Not too high of a protein supplements.

KAYE: So, what are if there is an aspiring Michael Phelps or an inspiring Gabby Douglas or anybody else at home watching? It's never really too early to get a young one started eating the right way, right?

LOVE: Definitely not too early. And what you can do is to start to train your body to be able to store more fuel as you gear up towards this higher carbohydrate eating which is so key. Sixty percent of the diet coming from all these good things we have been talking about. We want to start eating that way and you actually train your body to store more fuel. The eating frequently that I've been talking about. The hydrating well, a good well of hydrating until your urine is a pale clear color. And that may be like a lemonade type color. That is a sign you're hydrating well.

Maybe recording your food intake for example using a program like nutria-timing (ph) that allows an athlete to look at how well are they fuelling throughout the day to make sure that they are meeting their energy needs using a few diet. Online applications are very popular right now as the athletes travel and need something convenient. And then obviously, definitely working on increasing the colorful foods. We've got a lot of colorful foods on it.

KAYE: Yes.

LOVE: We've got the broccoli, the fruit, the deep greens. And a lot of young teen athletes aren't big on fruits and vegetables.

KAYE: Right.

LOVE: So, this needs to be a fourth to a half of the plate. And they are missing the boat on some of these good anti-oxidant nutrients that helps them stay healthy and fight infection and prevent injury.

KAYE: Right. So, they can compete and just being active in general.

LOVE: Exactly. Exactly.

KAYE: Paige, thank you. I appreciate that. Great advice.

LOVE: Thank you.

KAYE: Great to have you.

So, that is what an Olympic athlete eats. But similar diets are causing problems for the military, they say that there is a problem fighting fit recruits because America is just too fat.

So, what are they doing about it? We will tell you.


KAYE: We have all heard that America is just getting too fat. Obesity is an epidemic especially among children, but now it's becoming a problem for the military. CNN's Deb Feyerick explains. (BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is not how Mercedes Lipscomb looked a decade ago when she tried to enlist in the National Guard and was rejected, told she was too fat.

MERCEDES LIPSCOMB, LOST WEIGHT TO ENLIST: I am totally happy they didn't let me in at 220 pounds. I think I probably would have died out there.

FEYERICK: According to a report releasing later this month from a group called mission readiness, 25 percent of all potential recruits are turned away because of their weight. The problem is potentially so serious, commanders of all rank who is spearheaded the study describe it as a potential threat to National Security.

REAR ADM. JAMIE BARNETT (RET.), MISSION READINESS: A statistic that blows me away on that is, one in four Americans is too obese. Young Americans are too obese to join the military.

FEYERICK: Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett and more than a hundred retired generals and admirals warned of the problem two years ago in a new follow-up report, still too fat to fight, they contend the military is working harder than ever to find eligible recruits.

BARNETT: More and more we are seeing that those folks showing up at the recruiting centers are not really fit to come into the military.

FEYERICK: Hundreds of recruits wound up discharged early because of weight-related issues.

BARNETT: Recruits who have not done as well, have been overweight don't do as well in boot camp or more likely to not complete their first term of enlistment.

FEYERICK: The cost? Some $60 million a year invested and lost in recruits and finding their replacements. Military leaders say, the problem is reversible. They are now targeting school lunch programs and vending machines. Pointing to the success of New York City schools and regulating unhealthy food and lowering average student weight.

As for Mercedes Lipscomb, she reapplied to the National Guard after dropping 80 pounds.

LIPSCOMB: If you are going into a combat zone, you want to be in shape, you want to be able to maneuver, you want to be able to protect yourself and, you know, protect your fellow soldiers. Overweight, how are you going to run? How are you going to get away?

FEYERICK: The study hopes to target young generations so when the time comes, they will be combat ready. The nation's leaders, hoping to stem the child obesity crisis so it doesn't become what they believe could be a National Security crisis. Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.


KAYE: Tropical storm Ernesto is moving west. We will have more on the storm's latest track at the top of the hour.


KAYE: Welcome back. Earlier we asked who you thought was the star of this year's Olympics. And you answered. Uba tweeted, "Star of the Olympics is Gabby Douglas. What an inspiration."

And Micah pretty much agrees, "If not Missy Franklin, then Gabby Douglas."

And Rosemary had a very smart peek. "The people keeping the place clean."

So, who do you think is the star of this year's Olympics? You can keep those tweets coming. I'm reading them. Tweet me at RandiKayeCNN. I'll read some of your responses later on in the show.

Thanks for starting your morning with us. We've got much more ahead on "CNN SATURDAY MORNING" which starts right now.