Some of the nation’s top leaders in health, physical activity and education have joined forces to improve the health and wellness of children, including low-fat and fat-free dairy products as part of a healthy diet.
An agreement announced Friday will bring together the National Football League, leading government authorities, the National Dairy Council and Gen YOUth Foundation, a newly formed non-profit organization that supports efforts to end childhood obesity.
“We are pleased to join this diverse group to collaborate in addressing the childhood obesity epidemic — a problem too big to tackle alone,” said Goodell. “The NFL is proud to be a partner in Fuel Up to Play 60, which is making a real and lasting impact in schools across the country.”
Fuel Up to Play 60 is a customizable in-school program that empowers youth in more than 70,000 schools to improve nutrition and physical activity at their school and for their own health. It encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (including low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
“Since more than 50 percent of a student’s daily calories are consumed at school, the school environment is an ideal setting for turning healthy behaviors into lifelong habits. To make an impact in schools and beyond, it is critically important to engage kids in an exciting way. Today, we will debut a public service announcement which provides a compelling example of what we can achieve when putting meaningful partnerships to work for kids,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Friday.
In this spirit of collaboration, a new Foundation, Gen YOUth, launches today. Gen YOUth Foundation will work with schools, communities and business partners to develop and support programs that create lasting changes in the child health and wellness arena, including Fuel Up to Play 60. The mission of the Gen YOUth Foundation is to create a movement that will inspire youth to change their behavior.
“Through Gen YOUth, we are building a team of players who are committed to combating childhood obesity. We hope that moving forward, more influencers will respond to our call to action and join us in taking an active role in eradicating the largest public health issue of this generation,” said Gen YOUth CEO Alexis Glick. “As the mother of three young boys, I know how important it is to teach healthy choices. But if there isn’t support in the school environment, we lose all the momentum we’ve gained at home. We need to tackle this issue from all fronts.”
The Foundation Board will meet twice a year and will participate in an annual dialogue on childhood obesity with the leading health professional organizations to identify sustainable solutions. Members include the 16th U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, known for first labeling childhood obesity an “epidemic;” National PTA President Charles Saylors; former NFL player and FOX Sports commentator Howie Long; Washington Post Senior Associate Editor Lally Weymouth; Top Chef All-Star Carla Hall; LALA USA CEO Steve McCormick, and Purdue University Foods and Nutrition Department Head Connie Weaver.
Glick will oversee the Board of Directors as Gen YOUth Foundation CEO.
To join Fuel Up to Play 60 and learn more about the program, visit www.FuelUpToPlay60.com. To get involved with Gen YOUth Foundation and to learn more about how to make a serious impact on the health of America’s youth, visit www.genyouthfoundation.org.
Source: National Dairy Council