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Fuel Up to Play 60 Reflects Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Program

It’s not just adults who are making efforts to be healthy in the new year. Schools and kids all across the country are also eating and moving their way to a healthier 2011.

The Fuel Up to Play 60 is a nationwide program that has been encouraging kids and classrooms to healthy up their lives through an interactive challenge and contest for the past two years. Now, Fuel Up to Play 60 just announced that it’s accepting applications for 2011.

For those of you who don’t know what the program is all about, Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program. Launched by National Dairy Council and the National Football League in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Multiple health and nutrition organizations and several major corporations are also supporting the program.

Fuel Up to Play 60 mirrors the challenge of First Lady’s Michelle Obama‘s childhood obesity prevention program, the Let’s Move campaign. Both efforts are aimed at accomplishing the same objective: to motivate young Americans to be more active and to consume healthier foods. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this generation of young boys and girls has a life expectancy less than their parents. This stark reality is an interruption of the positive life-expectancy trend that has continued for the past few decades.

So exactly how is the Fuel Up to Play 60 contest played?

Fuel Up to Play 60 empowers students to engage their peers to “fuel up” with nutrient-rich foods they often lack – particularly low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains – and “get up and play” with 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Throughout the challenge, participants can earn badges and rewards by tracking their healthy eating and daily exercise. They can also earn such rewards by encouraging friends and peers to adopt the same healthy behaviors.

If a school already has existing wellness programs or efforts, Fuel Up to Play 60 can complement and enhance them with additional resources, tools, rewards and incentives for students, adult program advisers and the school.

There are several application windows each year, including upcoming deadlines on February 15, 2011 and June 15, 2011.

To learn more about the Fuel Up to Play 60 program and to register, visit the program’s website.

January 11th, 2011

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