New Data Shows More Than 11 Million Students Involved In Making Healthier Changes At School With Fuel Up to Play 60
ROSEMONT, Ill., Sept. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — As students nationwide kick off a new academic year, classroom chatter isn’t just about reading, writing and back-to-school fashion, but “what’s for breakfast?” and “how long until recess?” Providing healthy solutions to these questions is the driving force behind Fuel Up to Play 60. The program – founded by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture – is partnering with students to lead their generation into a healthier tomorrow by eating smart and staying active. Inspired and led by youth, new data shows Fuel Up to Play 60 is empowering students to make America’s schools healthier.
“I’m so proud of the Fuel Up to Play 60 students, teachers and other adults who are paving the way to make positive changes in their schools every day, like starting breakfast bars and morning fitness clubs,” said Jean H. Ragalie, RD, president of the National Dairy Council. “By adding tasty, nutritious foods like low-fat and fat-free dairy products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains to school meals and playing for at least 60 minutes a day, we’re helping the next generation develop life-long healthy habits. The program is unique because it isn’t telling students the importance of being healthy but encouraging and equipping them to create changes both personally and at school.”
In addition to more than 11 million students actively engaged in the program, highlights from the Fuel Up to Play 60 study include:
- The program serves nearly 73,000 enrolled schools reaching approximately 38 million students across the country.
- Sixty-nine percent of enrolled educators and administrators believe the program is positively influencing their school environment and sixty-five percent say it helps them achieve their school wellness goals.
- Seventy percent of enrolled schools believe the program is helping students make healthier food choices and sixty-two percent say it is helping increase the amount of time students are physically active at school.
- Overall, on average, youth involvement is 70 percent higher in schools that also receive Fuel Up to Play 60 grants.
- More than 26,000 adult advisors support students in their effort, which is an increase of more than 30 percent from last year.
“The best thing about Fuel Up to Play 60 is that it’s a customizable program. You can make it your own,” said Russ McHenry, Program Advisor at Northern Guilford Middle School in Greensboro, NC. “It’s rewarding to help students organize activities that get them moving and choosing the right foods to eat that will help keep them fueled and focused in class.”
In partnership with committed adult stakeholders, youth leaders help students implement changes in their school environments. Three of the many recent success stories, include:
- Byron Sackett, Director for Lincoln County Schools in NC, created a free breakfast program to ensure students had access to a healthy start in the morning. The program has seen a 400 percent increase in participants with funding and support from Fuel Up to Play 60.
- Infant Jesus of Prague School in Flossmoor, IL used Fuel Up to Play 60 funds to purchase new physical activity equipment for their early morning fitness club and Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) challenge. The club motivated students, friends and family to exercise, especially throughout the winter months, allowing at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
- Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador, Kaylene Khosla, formerly at Roncalli Middle School in Pueblo, CO, initiated a new healthy sub sandwich station with low-fat cheese, lean meats, veggies and whole grain bread. It is now the most popular lunch line in the cafeteria.
Khosla, along with other Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassadors, will be sharing real-life program successes at the Nutrition + Physical Activity Learning Connection Summit taking place September 18-19 in Washington, D.C. The Summit, hosted by the GENYOUth Foundation, will explore the connection between breakfast, physical activity and learning.
Joining the Fuel Up to Play 60 team is easy, fun and gives students the freedom to be creative about their personal and school goals, in addition to winning exclusive prizes including NFL merchandise and a trip to the Super Bowl XLVII. For more information or to sign-up, students, parents and educators may visit www.FuelUpToPlay60.com or the Fuel Up to Play 60 Facebook page.
*Data based on results from an online survey fielded in April/May 2012 among more than 11,000 adults in Fuel Up to Play 60 enrolled schools. Survey data were weighted statistically to adjust for sample bias.
About Fuel Up to Play 60
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council (NDC) and National Football League (NFL), with additional partnership support from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program encourages youth to consume nutrient-dense foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
Fuel Up to Play 60 is designed to engage and empower youth to take action for their own health by implementing long-term, positive changes for themselves and their schools. Customizable and non-prescriptive program components are grounded in research with youth, including tools and resources, in-school promotional materials, a website and student challenges. 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.
About National Dairy Council
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. Developed by NDC and the National Football League (NFL), Fuel Up to Play 60 encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. For more information, visit www.NationalDairyCouncil.org.
About NFL Play 60
Designed to tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL’s long-standing commitment to health and wellness with corporate and non-profit partner organizations. PLAY 60 also is implemented locally, as part of the NFL’s in-school, after-school and team-based programs. Since the program was launched in 2007, the NFL has committed more than $250 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for public service announcements. The NFL and its teams have built more than 120 NFL Youth Fitness Zones, organized more than 1,500 PLAY 60 youth events, and integrated programs into more than 77,000 schools nationwide since the campaign launched.
GENYOUth Foundation was founded to inspire youth behavior change. It invites business and philanthropic partners who share in its mission to join its efforts in pursuing a sustainable solution to the childhood obesity epidemic and help ensure that America’s children have access to the health and wellness information that will help them succeed. Our Flagship Program, Fuel Up to Play 60, is the largest health and wellness program in schools across the country. We believe that when students are given a voice, change can happen. For more information, visit www.genyouthfoundation.org
Media resources, including press conference video footage and photos are available at http://supporters.fueluptoplay60.com/newsroom/news-and-events/
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