For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 1, 2007
Fact Sheet: Encouraging Child Fitness
President and Mrs. Bush Discuss Childhood Obesity
Today, The President And Mrs. Bush Met With Corporate Leaders To Encourage
The Private Sector To Join The Federal Government's Efforts To Promote
Child Fitness And Prevent Obesity. The President and Mrs. Bush met with executives from industries dealing with product development, entertainment,
retail sales, and advertising to youth to discuss the importance of
improving healthy food offerings and encouraging physical activity in their
Meeting Participants Included:
Marc Belton, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Health, Brand and New
Business Development, General Mills
Peggy Conlon, President and CEO, The Advertising Council
Alexander "Sandy" Douglas, Jr., President and COO, Coca-Cola North America
Roger Enrico, Chairman of the Board, DreamWorks Animation SKG
Ivelisse Estrada, Senior Vice President, Corporate and Community Relations,
Univision Communications, Inc.
Lance Friedmann, Senior Vice President, Global Health and Wellness and
Sustainability, Kraft Foods, Inc.
Jeff Montie, Executive Vice President of North America, Kellogg Company
Indra Nooyi, CEO, PepsiCo, Inc.
Tom Seddon, CEO, Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust
Don Thompson, President, McDonalds USA
Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon Television
Following Today's Meeting, U.S. Department Of Health And Human Services
(HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt Will Join DreamWorks Animation SKG Chairman
Roger Enrico And Ad Council President And CEO Peggy Conlon To Launch A
Public Awareness Campaign To Help Prevent Childhood Obesity. The campaign
is in partnership with the Ad Council and will include ads featuring
characters from the Shrek animated movies encouraging children to "Be a
Player: Get Up and Play an Hour a Day."
Childhood Obesity Is A Serious Public Health Problem. More than 10 million school-age children in the United States (approximately 18 percent) are now
considered overweight, and the problem is getting worse. The proportion of
overweight kids tripled among adolescents over the last 25 years, and
nearly doubled for children ages 6 to 12. This increases their risk for
adult heart disease and diabetes, lowers life expectancy, and creates
additional health-care costs.
The Administration Is Working To Fight Obesity
The Federal Government Spends More Than $600 Million Annually To Fight
The President's FY 2008 Budget Proposes $17.3 Million For Approximately
3,600 Schools To Receive $3,000 To $5,000 Grants From HHS To Help Implement
School Health Index Improvement Plans. These plans will help schools
assess and measure the health of their students. Grant recipients will
develop action plans for promoting physical activity and healthy eating.
The initiative will reach more than 3 million young people and their
In June 2002, President Bush Launched The HealthierUS Initiative To Promote
Personal Fitness And Health. As part of this initiative, the President
announced the revitalization of the President's Council on Physical Fitness
and Sports (PCPFS). The President also directed certain Federal agencies
to review and revise policies, programs, and regulations related to
physical activity and nutrition in accordance with the goals of the
HHS Activities: HHS activities to promote the HealthierUS initiative
include the recent launch, with the Office of Personnel Management, of
HealthierFeds, the HealthierUS Fitness Festival, PCPFS challenge
partnerships, and various forums and workshops. HHS also partnered with
the Department of Veterans Affairs to launch HealthierUS Veterans and has
also convened four National Prevention Summits. In 2005, HHS launched the
We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition) program, a
resource for tools to help children 8 to 13 years old stay at a healthy
weight. Through the CDC, the Steps to a HealthierUS initiative operates a
cooperative agreement program office that provides funding to 40
communities nationwide to support evidence-based community interventions.
U.S. Department Of Agriculture (USDA) Activities: USDA has partnered with States and local schools to promote the availability of healthful foods and
encourage physical activity, assist in the implementation of Local School
Wellness Policies, and establish the Healthier US School Challenge. USDA
has also initiated a number of efforts to make the National School Lunch
Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants,
and Children more effective vehicles for improving nutrition and preventing
obesity. Two USDA campaigns - "Team Nutrition" and "Eat Smart. Play Hard."
- are helping to deliver messages on the importance of healthy eating and
- USDA And HHS Dietary Guidelines For Americans: The Dietary
Guidelines for Americans, a joint effort by HHS and USDA, were updated in
2005 and serve as the basis of Federal food programs and nutrition
education programs. The MyPyramid Food Guidance System incorporates the
science-based recommendations of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
and replaces the Food Guide Pyramid of 1992.
This Year, The Administration's Actions To Fight Obesity Will Include:
Public Messaging Partnerships: HHS will continue working with the
advertising, entertainment, arts, food, and beverage industries to
recognize achievements and increase support for obesity prevention
School Wellness Policies: USDA is helping schools across America to
implement their Local Wellness policies. This school year, districts
nationwide are required to establish goals for nutrition education and
physical activity and to set school food nutrition guidelines. HHS and
other agencies have also produced Federal tools and curricula on healthy
diets and exercise.
Outdoor Recreation: The Interior Department will promote physical fitness
by facilitating greater access to public lands and National Parks. This
will encourage young people and their families to participate in hunting,
fishing, hiking, biking, and other forms of outdoor recreation.
Physical Activity Guidelines For Americans: In 2006, HHS announced that it
would issue comprehensive Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in
2008. These will complement the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and are
based on the premise that Americans must engage in physical activity as
well as have a healthy diet. HHS will establish a Physical Activity
Scientific Advisory Committee in 2007 to formulate recommendations that
will serve as the basis for the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
Dietary Guidelines For Americans: HHS and USDA will continue promoting the
Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the revised MyPyramid Food Guidance
System, as the basis for Federal food and nutrition education. USDA will
also continue to promote MyPyramid for Kids as a vehicle encouraging
children ages 6 to 11 to make healthy eating and physical activity choices.
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