Winning the Future: Fuel Up to Fight Obesity
Today I had the honor of joining some of our nation’s principal thought-leaders at the site of Super Bowl XLV in Dallas, Texas, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that outlines an unprecedented private-public partnership committed to child health and wellness. The co-signers included myself, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NDC CEO Thomas Gallagher and Gen YOUth Foundation CEO Alexis Glick. During the event, I unveiled a new television public service announcement (PSA) featuring a local favorite, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, that encourages youth to participate in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. The PSA was developed by the Ad Council in collaboration with Let’s Move!, USDA, NFL, NFL Player Association, and National Dairy Council, and will be distributed to stations nationwide this week.
We are proud to support First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative and be a partner in Fuel Up to Play 60, which is making a real and lasting impact on youth across the country. Launched in 2007, Fuel Up to Play 60 is a flexible in-school program that empowers youth in more than 70,000 schools to improve nutrition and physical activity in their schools and personal lives. It encourages youth to consume nutrient-dense foods like 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, this environment is an ideal setting for turning healthy behaviors into lifelong habits.
Fuel Up to Play 60 complements the efforts of USDA's HealthierUS School Challenge, which recognizes schools that voluntarily adopt USDA standards for food they serve at their schools, agree to provide nutrition education and provide opportunities for physical activity. I have had the honor of visiting schools from California to Virginia and they are rising up to the challenge - because they know that is what it will to take to win the future. These programs are among the many tools and resources at hand to help communities around the country raise a healthier generation.
To make an impact in schools and beyond, it is critically important to engage kids in an exciting and meaningful way. Today’s event provides a compelling example of what we can achieve when putting meaningful partnerships to work for kids. I encourage everyone to join Fuel Up to Play 60 and learn more about the new PSAs by visiting www.FuelUpToPlay60.com.