USDA joins National Dairy Council and NFL in a public-private partnership to improve health and wellness in America's schools
The USDA has joined a campaign to fight and defeat childhood obesity in cooperation with the NFL, National Dairy Council, multiple health organizations and several major corporations. The campaign, known as Fuel Up to Play 60, is funded with an initial private sector financial commitment of $250 million over five years by America's Dairy Farmers. Funding is expected to grow as government, business, communities and families join this effort to improve nutrient-rich food choices and achieve 60 minutes of physical activity each day among children. More than 58,000, or 60 percent, of the nation's 96,000 private and public schools are currently enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60.
It is possible that today's children could become the first American generation with a shorter life expectancy than their parents. One-third of American children are overweight or obese. The obesity prevalence is about three to four times that of just one generation ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Today is a significant milestone in the fight against childhood obesity because this unprecedented partnership will help educate our youth about steps they can and should take to lead healthy lives," said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. "Increasing access to more nutrient-rich foods and physical activity in America's schools is no simple task and will require the combined effort of private and public interests. Partnerships like these, combined with a strong reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Programs, can make a significant difference in our battle against childhood obesity."
Vilsack joined Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, and Tom Gallagher, CEO of Dairy Management Inc., the managing organization for National Dairy Council, at a New York City public school to support and promote the initiative. Other speakers included Eric Goldstein, chief executive officer, Nutrition and Transportation, New York City Department of Education; David Satcher, Ph.D., Action for Healthy Kids founding chair and 16th U.S. Surgeon General; and Maurice Jones-Drew, #32 running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Also attending the event were leaders from Action for Healthy Kids, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dietetic Association, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association and School Nutrition Association, and hundreds of students from Central Park East Middle School in New York City.
As an initial step, these partners will work together to promote and expand Fuel Up to Play 60. Based on the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the program empowers students in grades four through 10 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. Components developed for and by youth, such as program curriculum, in-school promotional materials, a website and youth social media partnerships, are customizable and non-prescriptive. The program's design allows youth and schools to determine which tools and resources best help schools meet local youth wellness goals and school wellness policies. Partner-supported school grants will help schools make long-term healthy changes.
Copyright 1995-2014. High
Plains Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Any republishing
of these pages, including electronic reproduction of the editorial archives
or classified advertising, is strictly prohibited. If you have questions or
comments you can reach us at
High Plains Journal
1500 E. Wyatt Earp Blvd., P.O. Box 760, Dodge City, KS 67801
or call 1-800-452-7171. Email: