September 3, 2008

America On the Move Kicks Off Third Annual STEPtember Campaign

America On the Move(R) Foundation Inc., a national nonprofit helping individuals, families and communities make positive changes to improve their health and quality of life, is kicking off STEPtember 2008 -- the third annual national, month-long celebration highlighting how easy it is to be active and eat healthier. During the month of September, America On the Move encourages Americans to try its small-changes approach to healthier living.

America On the Move's own research proves that making small, manageable lifestyle changes can help control weight and overall health. The foundation's research-based programs encourage people to move more and eat healthier by making two small daily changes:

-- Take 2,000 more steps (about one mile)

-- Eat 100 fewer calories (about a tablespoon of butter)

Doing so is proven to help stop the average national weight gain of one to two pounds a year.

Individuals, families, worksites, schools and communities can help make September STEPtember by joining the STEPtember challenge at Throughout the month of September, the STEPtember challenge will allow millions of Americans to experience the simplicity, power and success of making small changes to live a healthier life.

By registering for the STEPtember Challenge, Americans across the country are eligible for a chance to win a grand prize valued at $2,500. The grand prize includes a $1,000 gift card to a sporting goods store, a $500 gift card to a grocery store, and consultation with an America On the Move registered dietitian.

STEPtember challenge participants will have access to America On the Move's free online resources that are helping millions of people achieve positive, lasting results. Participants will also receive daily dietary and activity tips online and can track their physical activity to determine their progress over time.

Special activities are also being planned nationwide throughout the month of September, to help people get On the Move.

-- America On the Move Week with the YMCA. From Sept. 20 to 27, more than 1,400 YMCAs across the country will participate in America On the Move Week with the YMCA and host activities that inspire individuals and families to take small steps and get active.

-- Community Involvement. In addition to widespread participation from YMCAs nationwide, hundreds of existing America On the Move organizations (worksites, faith-based organizations, community groups, etc.) will host activities aimed at helping people add 2,000 more steps to their day.

To find a local STEPtember event near you, simply visit the America On the Move Web site and use our STEPtember event finder.

"Americans, by and large, are not active enough and eat too many calories to maintain a healthy way of life," said Dr. James O. Hill, co-founder of America On the Move and director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Denver. "Obesity has become a public health crisis that America On the Move is determined to help solve -- with simple steps. During the month of STEPtember, we want to show everyone just how easy it is to take small steps toward a healthier way of life."

As the National Founding Sponsor of America On the Move and a national sponsor of YMCA Activate America(R), PepsiCo and its Smart Spot(R) products are supporting this effort. Today more than 300 Smart Spot products are available, including Tropicana(R) juices, Aquafina(R) water, Gatorade(R) thirst quencher, Baked! Lay's(R) snacks, Quaker(R) oats and Diet Pepsi(R), among others. The national sponsor for STEPtember is LEAN CUISINE(R) and its full range of nutritional frozen prepared meals, including SPA CUISINE(TM) Classics, Cafe Classics and Comfort Classics; CASUAL EATING(TM) Pizzas, Panini and Flatbread Melts; ONE DISH FAVORITES(TM) and DINNERTIME SELECTS(TM) meals.

About America On the Move Foundation Inc.

America On the Move Foundation Inc. is a national nonprofit organization that helps individuals, families and communities make positive changes to improve Americans' health and quality of life. With more than a million participants on- and offline, America On the Move supports a small-changes approach to healthy eating and active living habits. America On the Move's science-based programs and outreach support Americans of all ages manage their weight effectively through energy balance. For more information, please visit