I am a big fan of any program that helps kids eat healthier and promotes activity in a fun and positive way.
The Fuel Up to Play 60 is a national program that reminds children to be active at least 60 minutes a day. This program has reached millions of children across the United States. Our friends at National Dairy Council are part of this program.
The program’s first progress report since launching nationally in 2009 shows that schools are making progress in promoting healthier eating habits and increasing physical activity among students.
Impact to date includes:
• Nationwide, more than 70,000 schools serving about 36 million students are enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60. The program is supported by U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S Department of Health & Human Services, and several health and nutrition organizations like Action for Healthy Kids, American Academy of Pediatrics and the School Nutrition Association.
• Nearly two-thirds of enrolled adults say the program is helping students make healthier food choices and more than half (56 percent) say the program is helping to increase opportunities for students to be physically active. Schools are implementing Fuel Up to Play 60 strategies such starting walking clubs, or conducting “taste tests” of foods like low-fat yogurt and whole grains and asking students to vote on which ones they would like to see in the school cafeteria.
• Forty-eight percent of schools have taken an action to improve the healthy eating or physical activity environment and opportunities available to students.
• Nearly 7.5 million students nationwide are actively involved in the program by helping to plan, lead, implement or participate in peer-to-peer promotions, events and in-school change strategies.
• To date, Fuel Up to Play 60 has given a combined total of over $20 million in funds and rewards to help jumpstart and sustain healthy changes in more than 1,500 Fuel Up to Play 60 schools.
• Sixty percent of funded schools serve a largely low-income student body, in which fifty percent or more is eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.
• Eighty-five percent of schools that received funds have implemented a Fuel Up to Play 60 healthy eating or physical activity play from the Playbook – an online tool that provides action strategies to help students and adults plan and implement healthy environmental changes in their school.
• Youth can’t do it alone. More than 90,000 adults are enrolled in the program, too – and many are actively working with students to make sustainable healthy changes in schools. Almost two-thirds of adults enrolled in the program agree that Fuel Up to Play 60 positively influences the school wellness environment.
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