The program is a pro-active response to the growing obesity epidemic and declining physical fitness of America’s youth. The program is designed to help reverse the trend toward increased weight and sedentary lifestyles among America’s children.
Nearly 32 percent of all children and adolescents, approximately 23 million kids, are now overweight or obese. Over the past 30 years, this trend has assumed epidemic proportions, with the proportion of overweight children aged 6 to 11 years growing from 6.5 percent to 17 percent, and rates among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years jumping from 5 percent to 17.6 percent. These climbing obesity rates increase children’s risk for diet-related chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.
Research shows that most American children are overfed and undernourished. While most consume more calories than recommended by the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, only 2 percent of school-aged children consume the recommended daily number of servings from all major food groups. And 62 percent of children aged 9 to 13 years do not participate in any organized physical activity during their non-school hours. Almost 23 percent do not engage in any free-time physical activity at all.
This program builds upon existing NFL and NDC programs, including NFL PLAY 60: The NFL Movement for an Active Generation, which encourages kids and their families to “get up and play an hour a day.” Fuel Up to Play 60 is based on the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommends consumption of nutrient-rich foods (such as low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and 60 minutes of physical activity a day.
In September, USDA discussed a plan to develop a Memorandum of Understanding between USDA, the NFL and DMI to allow USDA programs and Fuel Up to Play 60 to collaborate and collectively tackle the critical issue of children's health.
More information is available at Fuel Up to Play 60
Source: National Dairy Council