Fuel Up to Play 60 is back. (Yay!)
Most well known for the catchy, rhyming commercial showcasing NFL players, the fantastic program to help children learn to eat healthy has returned for the new school year. The commercials, starring NFL players such as Washington Redskins’ Chris Horton, hope to use their popularity to drive home to kids the message that good foods and good play go hand in hand.
Created by the trusted National Dairy Council and the NFL, working in conjunction with the USDA, this multi-faceted program covers all aspects of child nutrition and health. It has improved this year by adding a local, state and national student ambassador program.
Getting kids to eat healthy foods and exercise for the recommended 60 minutes every day has proven to be a tall task for many families. By adding support from well known and respected NFL players, it’s hoped that kids will establish life long healthy habits and stem the rise of childhood obesity. Parents and teachers who wonder how to get started with this task can find some great resources on the Fuel Up to Play 60 website, which features video clips, recipes, and exercise hints.
By Rita Robison
Childhood obesity is increasing at an alarming rate throughout the world. The World Health Organization calls it one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century.
Overweight children are likely to become obese adults, who have a higher probability of developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age. These diseases can cause disabilities and premature death.
Globally, the number of overweight and obese children under the age of five was estimated to be more than 42 million in 2010.
While most people think being fat is a problem only in rich countries, nearly 35 million of these children were living in developing countries. The childhood obesity problem is rising rapidly in low- and middle-income countries, especially in urban areas.
The rate of children who are overweight and obese worldwide increased from 4.2% in 1990 to 6.7% in 2010, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
First lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America announced yesterday that they are working with a number of major grocery retailers to bring affordable, healthy food to areas that desperately need them. “Make no mistake about it, this is a big deal,” said Obama during yesterday’s press conference. The partnering companies have agreed to open or expand over 1,500 stores combined, according to PR Newswire.
Stores participating in the initiative include Walmart, Walgreens, Brown’s Super Stores, Calhoun Enterprises, Klein’s Family Markets and Supervalu. Walmart has been an early supporter of Obama’s initiative to fight childhood obesity. Earlier this year, they announced plans to reduce the sugar and sodium content of their in-house brands and is now committing to building or expanding 300 stores. Additionally, the California Endowment has pledged to give $200 million through the FreshWorks Fund for new, independent retail channels and food distribution programs in California.
According to Partnership for a Healthier America, these efforts will provide nearly 10 million Americans with the ability to buy fresh produce close to their homes. An estimated 23.5 million Americans currently live in low-income “food deserts” where there are no stores likely to sell nutritious foods at a reasonable cost. Michelle Obama has explained that getting businesses to take this kind of active role is key to the success of programs like Let Move!
If you have ever seen a picture of the First Lady, you know that the woman is in great shape. You probably also know that Michelle Obama is an avid supporter of reducing childhood obesity in our nation through healthier eating and more active lifestyles. In fact, she launched a health-awareness campaign, Let’s Move!, last year, a campaign that aims to reduce or even eliminate our nation’s obesity epidemic in only one generation. Now, another famous celebrity is joining Michelle in an effort to create awareness for the campaign.
Famous singer Beyonce has released a new music video that encourages children to get up and move. The music video features Beyonce and a cafeteria full of kids who are dancing and having a really good time. Beyonce has remixed her song, “Get Me Bodied,” to create a dance workout video for kids. The song and video are both very lively and really fun to listen to; the goal is that dancing along with Beyonce will help them burn calories and avoid being overweight.
In her first morning show interview on the Today show on February 9, 2011, Michelle Obama discussed the one year anniversary of her “Let’s Move! ” campaign and how it has changed both her outlook on food and the future of the children of America.
Mrs. Obama said that the greatest success in the first year of the “Let’s Move!” campaign has been the broad base coalition of people who are stepping up. “We’re getting involvement from every sector – from businesses, from the medical profession, from teachers, from parents.” She went on to call the program a unifying issue, saying, “We all care about our children. I have seen that positive momentum, that people are ready to make some hard changes in their lives and the way we live.”
It’s rare to see a first lady endorse a superstore chain, but Wal-Mart’s new initiative to offer low-cost healthier foods is in line with Michelle Obama’s anti-childhood obesity campaign. “When I see a company like Wal-Mart launch an initiative like this, I feel more hopeful than ever before,” said Ms. Obama at the announcement, calling it a “a huge victory for folks all across this country.” Wal-Mart unveiled the healthy food initiative at THEARC, a Southeast Washington community center that offers a nutritious food program. The company also announced plans to open their first stores in the D.C. area.
“No family should have to choose between food that is healthier for them and food they can afford,” Bill Simon, president and chief executive of Walmart U.S., said in a statement posted on the company’s Web site. “With more than 140 million customers each week, Walmart is uniquely positioned to make a difference by making food healthier and more affordable to everyone.”
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. (more…)
You would think that if there was anything Republicans, Democrats and Independents could agree on it would be that making school lunches healthier is a good thing. But apparently in today’s extreme political divide, healthy food is a part of the new Communist Manifesto.
I think too much. For example, when Sarah Palin brazenly jabs at Michelle Obama’s initiative to improve the health of our children, I say to myself: “Is she for real, or is this just some sort of professional wrestling-style persona she’s taking on?” You know, she’s The Iron Sheik to Michelle Obama’s Hulk Hogan (sorry, my pro wrestling knowledge doesn’t go beyond 1989).
The gist of her oversimplified argument is that government shouldn’t decide what our kids eat; parents should be the ones responsible. The foolishness of this argument is pretty easy to dismantle, but first, it’s important to note that Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative and the Child Nutrition Act (a.k.a. Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act), is not forcing kids to eat what is in schools. They can still brown-bag their lunches. (more…)
“Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges that the public has ever faced.” – Jeffrey Levi, Executive Director of the Trust for America’s Health
We’ve all heard that childhood obesity is on the rise. The figures support the claim, with more than one in three children classified as overweight or obese. In the past forty years, obesity rates in the United States have soared among all age groups, with the highest percentage of growth among those ages 6 to 11. President Obama recently declared September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, in conjunction with his wife Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative. From his proclamation, “Each year, nearly $150 billion are spent to treat obesity-related medical conditions. This is not the future to which we want to consign our children, and it is a burden our health care system cannot bear.”
So what can we, as parents, do to help our children? (more…)
Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign against childhood obesity recently announced the winners of the infographic contest it held in partnership with GOOD. Jenn Cash created the design that won “Best Overall.”
The chart graphs the rise in childhood obesity from 1970 to 2010, and features illustrations that represent the increase in soda consumption and total “screen time” American children use daily. The years at the bottom of the graph double as a timeline that marks changes in the American lifestyle. These stepping stones leading to an obesity rate near 33 percent include the year McDonald’s introduces the “Supersize” soda and the year Playstation sold 100 million units.