Industry News | September 5, 2008

National Dairy Council Inspires Healthy Living

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The National Football League (NFL) and the National Dairy Council (NDC) are teaming up in a new five-year sponsorship aimed at tackling the sedentary lifestyles and poor nutrition that have helped spur the current health and nutrition crisis among America's youth.

This initiative combines the expertise of the NDC and the NFL to inspire youth to choose more nutritious foods, increase physical activity and motivate their friends to do the same. The program, launching this fall, will target 40,000 schools nationwide in its first year with additional components being tested in select cities.

Thirty-two percent of American youth are overweight, and 70 percent of overweight kids will become overweight adults. Since up to 50 percent of total daily caloric intake is consumed at school, the school environment is an ideal setting for teaching healthy eating and physical fitness behaviors. This action-oriented initiative will provide youth and schools with tools, resources and incentives to make real and lasting changes.

As part of the program, youth will be motivated to adopt healthier behaviors, such as choosing foods encouraged by the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains) and committing to 60 minutes of physical activity every day. A key component that is being tested in select schools is engaging youth to help make positive changes in schools, such as increasing access to youth- appealing, nutritious foods and physical activity.

To poise the multiyear program for success, the NDC will spend $100 million over five years to support this initiative, including school grants. The NDC will spend an additional $150 million on other efforts aimed at improving child health and wellness.

"We are taking a leadership role to help kids win the battle for good health," says NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "Our players know the importance of staying healthy, and it's important that we help young fans understand the value of exercise."

"Kids are our No. 1 resource as a nation and today they are facing a health crisis. To help make real, sustainable changes, we need to offer solutions to our schools that will create lasting results," says Tom Gallagher, CEO of Dairy Management Inc., which manages the NDC. "The National Dairy Council, working on behalf of America's Dairy Farmers, has a history of being committed to youth and schools. This program will bring all our resources together to make the greatest impact on our country's most valued asset--our children."

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