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Dairy industry commits to fight for healthier kids

The Aberdeen Times of Aberdeen, Idaho

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Children are the future and we all have a role in making sure they have the best chance at leading healthy, productive lives.

Childhood obesity is an epidemic in the United States and it's important to consider that many children are not only overweight, but also undernourished. Over 16 million children live in food insecure households, meaning many go to bed hungry. Today's children could become the first generation with a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

The dairy industry is committed to providing healthy products that align with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and school meal standards and to giving children access to proper nutrition and nutrition education in schools. Dairy foods help feed nearly 40 million children through school meal programs, Woman, Infants and Children (WIC) and other public health programs, and for many children, these meals provide the only nutrient-rich foods in their day.

For dairy, there are many opportunities to support this commitment to healthy children such as providing innovative, nutrient-rich dairy foods for school and government feeding programs as well as to supermarkets, quick service restaurants and more. Additionally, joining public-private initiatives with a focus on improving child health is a way to be involved in change for future generations.

National Dairy Council and the National Football League, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, launched Fuel Up to Play 60 in order to encourage small, positive steps within the school environment for sustainable changes toward healthier food choices and increased physical activity for children.

Idaho Dairy Council has awarded 37 schools in Idaho a total of $101,665 to support Fuel Up to Play 60 initiatives for the 2011 -2012 school year. Schools across the country applied for funding to help them jumpstart and sustain healthy nutrition and physical activity improvements.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is one of the largest national in-school nutrition and physical activity programs that exist today. More than 70,000 schools are enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60, representing two-thirds of U.S. school districts and serving over 36 million children.

The program also is supported by the nation's leading health and nutrition organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and its Foundation, Action for Healthy Kids, the National Hispanic Medical Association, the National Medical Association and the School Nutrition Association.

Copyright 2012 The Aberdeen Times, Aberdeen, Idaho. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: June 20, 2012

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