Since October, the NFL and NDC have made a major effort to get children to be more active in their daily lives, specifically promoting a 60 minute a day exercise program every child in America. Play 60 is already active in more than 58,000 public schools, 60% of the nation’s 96,000 public schools. The program empowers children in grades 4-10 to “fuel-up” with nutrition-rich foods such low-fat dairy products, fruits, and vegetables so they have energy necessary to play for 60 minutes of physical activity a day.
Today’s event was held at Central Park East Middle School in Manhattan to formalize the partnership between the USDA, NFL, and the NDC. Secretary Vilsack, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Dairy Management, Inc. CEO Thomas Gallagher, former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, and many others were in attendance.
Jacksonville Jaguars All-Pro Maurice Jones-Drew headlined the event, along with other NFL players including the New York Giants tight end Kevin Boss, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall and Chicago Bears guard Roberto Garza. The event allowed students and school officials to practice exercise and identify healthy eating habits and nutritious food choices with visiting officials and NFL players.
Childhood obesity is one of the greatest public health crises facing the United States and the USDA is making every effort to make sure that today’s children are not the first American generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Programs like Fuel Up to Play 60 can be extremely beneficial in children’s lives and directly impact their future. This program empowers youth in this country to have a voice in changing their eating and exercise habits. Efforts like this show how the government and private sector can work together successfully to solve real problems