USDA Announces Partnership With NFL and Dairy Producers

September 16, 2009 07:00 PM

Source: USDA news release

USDA will work with the National Football League (NFL) and the nation's dairy producers to promote good nutrition and fitness in the nation's schools, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today.


The collaboration will help support President Obama's effort to promote good nutrition and physical fitness for America's children, USDA said.


The NFL and Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) are launching Fuel Up to Play 60, an innovative nutrition and fitness program based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, in some 60,000 schools this fall. The social marketing program empowers students to assume leadership in being more active and eating more healthy foods.

"Childhood obesity is a very serious issue that endangers the long-term health and welfare of our nation's youngsters," said Vilsack. "To reverse this dangerous trend and give our kids the opportunity to eat smarter, exercise more and lessen their risk of disease, both the public and private sectors will have to work together to marshal their combined expertise and resources."

The campaign will inspire kids to "fuel up" with the nutrient-rich foods they often lack-fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low- or no-fat dairy products-and "get up and play" with 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Student teams will evaluate their school's "wellness" and choose the healthy eating and physical activity programs on which the school will focus.

Vilsack met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Thomas Gallagher, chief executive of DMI, which runs the National Dairy Research and Promotion Program.

At the meeting, Secretary Vilsack discussed a plan to develop a Memorandum of Understanding between USDA, the NFL and DMI to allow USDA programs and Fuel Up to Play 60 to collaborate and collectively tackle the critical issue of children's health.

"NFL is a proud partner of Fuel Up to Play 60. It is an important component of our overall NFL Play 60 campaign," said NFL's Goodell. "Our goal is to raise awareness about the importance of staying fit and eating right, especially for America's young people. This partnership is a powerful alliance linking the USDA, National Dairy Council and the NFL to address childhood obesity and emphasize the role of daily physical activity in a healthy lifestyle."

"National Dairy Council is honored to work together with USDA and the NFL on Fuel Up to Play 60," Gallagher said. "Child nutrition, particularly in schools, has been a cornerstone of National Dairy Council for nearly a century.”

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