With research showing that increased physical activity and better nutrition can lead to improved academic performance, Fuel Up to Play 60 — the nation's largest in-school nutrition and physical activity program, founded under the leadership of America's dairy farmers — celebrates five successful years of empowering students to drive healthy changes in schools across the country.
To mark the occasion and look to the future, the National Dairy Council, National Football League, GENYOUth Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education recommitted their efforts and assets for five more years to help Fuel Up to Play 60 continue to build on its success in creating healthier school environments.
The $250 million public/private partnership is complemented by the support of health professional, education, physical activity, nutrition, government and corporate organizations who come together to positively impact school health.
The recommitment was announced at Pulaski International School in Chicago, IL. Attendees included Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner; Dr. David Satcher, 16th U.S. Surgeon General; Carla Hall, celebrity chef and co-host of ABC's The Chew; former Chicago Bears lineman and 1985 Super Bowl Champion Otis Wilson; Alexis Glick, CEO of GENYOUth Foundation; Thomas Gallagher, chairman of GENYOUth Foundation; Jerry Messer, chairman of National Dairy Council, as well as other partners, program advocates and students.
"We are pleased to renew our commitment to Fuel Up to Play 60, an important component of our overall NFL Play 60 program," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "The NFL and its 32 teams are proud to continue working with the state and regional dairy councils to inspire kids to lead healthy lives. We are committed to creating change in the physical activity environment in schools."
Through Fuel Up to Play 60, students in more than 73,000 schools nationwide are making a difference. As a result of the program, last year 14 million students made better food choices by selecting nutritious options like low-fat and fat-free dairy products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Additionally, 14 million students are getting more physically active during the school day.
"America's dairy farmers have always had a long-standing commitment to the health and wellness of America's children," said Jerry Messer, dairy farmer and chairman of the National Dairy Council. "Students spend 2,000 hours per year in school, and we are proud to help empower them to improve that experience. Fuel Up to Play 60 is a powerful legacy to leave to future generations."
Fuel Up to Play 60 works because it's a for-youth, by-youth program. Kids lead the charge by working with adult Program Advisors to find creative ways to increase access to nutritious foods and physical activity in the school building. From creating intramural sports leagues to developing healthy cooking classes for their peers, Fuel Up to Play 60 students prove that small changes can make a big difference.
"Fuel Up to Play 60 is GENYOUth's signature program, and by raising funds, uniting partners with shared goals, and empowering youth to own change, we equip students and schools with critical resources to take an active role in their health," said GENYOUth Foundation CEO Alexis Glick. "Public/private partnerships like Fuel Up to Play 60 are the blueprint to change the health and well-being of our nation's youth and we invite other health-minded organizations and individuals to join us in our efforts to support healthier, higher achieving students."
To join Fuel Up to Play 60 and learn more about the program, visit www.FuelUpToPlay60.com or follow #5MoreYears on Twitter. To get involved with GENYOUth Foundation and learn more about how to make a significant impact on the health of America's youth, visit www.genyouthfoundation.org
Fuel Up to Play 60 is further supported by several health and nutrition organizations: Action for Healthy Kids, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Association/Foundation, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association and School Nutrition Association. Visit FuelUpToPlay60.com to learn more.
Founded through an unprecedented public/private partnership with National Dairy Council (NDC) and the National Football League (NFL) committed to child health and wellness, GENYOUth brings leaders in health, education, government and business together in a movement to help America's youth achieve a healthier future.
The Foundation officially launched on Feb. 4, 2011 at Super Bowl XLV with the signing of a historic six-way Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Education and Health & Human Services. GENYOUth empowers students to improve nutrition and physical activity by taking small steps to accelerate a lifetime of healthy changes. When youth are given a voice, change can happen. For more information, visit www.GENYOUthFoundation.org.
National Dairy Council (NDC), the non-profit organization funded by the national dairy checkoff program, is committed to nutrition education and research-based communications. NDC provides science-based nutrition information to, and in collaboration with, a variety of stakeholders committed to fostering a healthier nation, including health professionals, educators, school nutrition directors, academia, industry, consumers and media.
Established in 1915, NDC comprises a staff of registered dietitians and nutrition research and communications experts across the country. NDC has taken a leadership role in promoting child health and wellness through programs such as Fuel Up to Play 60. For more information, visit www.NationalDairyCouncil.org
Designed to help tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL's long-standing commitment to health and fitness with partner organizations like the National Dairy Council. NFL PLAY 60 is also implemented locally, as part of the NFL's in-school, after-school and team-based programs. For more information, visit NFLRush.com.