USDA is joining in partnership with the National Dairy Council, the National Football League and several other organizations supporting the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. America's Dairy Farmers made the initial investment of $250 million over five years to fund the program designed to fight childhood obesity. As more organizations join the program, funding is expected to increase for the effort to improve nutrient-rich food choices and achieve 60 minutes of physical activity each day among children.
"Today is a significant milestone in the fight against childhood obesity because this unprecedented partnership will help educate our youth about steps they can and should take to lead healthy lives," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Increasing access to more nutrient-rich foods and physical activity in America's schools is no simple task, and will require the combined effort of private and public interests. Partnerships like these, combined with a strong reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Programs, can make a significant difference in our battle against childhood obesity."
More than 58,000 of the nation's private and public schools are enrolled in the program that is designed to allows youth and schools to determine which tools and resources best help schools meet local youth wellness goals and school wellness policies. Partner-supported school grants will help schools make long-term healthy changes. The NFL support of the program gives recognition and value to students.
"The National Football League is strongly committed to helping the next generation of youth achieve healthier lifestyles. In 2007, we launched NFL PLAY 60 to encourage kids to get active and play 60 minutes a day. We are excited that Fuel Up to Play 60 extends that message to include healthy eating," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "Through Fuel Up to Play 60, we want young people to discover that healthy habits can be both fun and empowering."