Newark Kids Serve as State's First Student Health & Wellness Ambassadors

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., March 6 /PRNewswire/ — The American Dairy Association and Dairy Council (ADADC) and the NFL today launched a national nutrition and fitness initiative designed to reverse the rising rates of childhood obesity by putting kids in charge of their future health. Recognizing that schools are uniquely positioned to support healthy change in youth, the Fuel Up to Play program engages and encourages youth to get the foods and physical activity they need to excel — and motivate their friends to do the same.

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To prepare for their role as student health and wellness ambassadors, 100 middle school students from ten Newark schools participated in physical fitness training activities with Giants' defensive tackle Barry Cofield and Jets' wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery at the two teams' home at Giants Stadium. The students also sampled new healthy school menu options including string cheese, yogurt and Farmland Dairy's new look of school milk – milk served in updated, plastic, resealable containers and had their photos taken with milk mustaches.

"Fuel Up to Play empowers students to make changes at their schools like adding healthier options to school menus and starting physical activity programs like walking clubs," says Aisha King, child nutrition consultant for the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council. "These programs will make a greater impression on students because they are run by students."

While Fuel Up to Play will help Newark schools activate the goals of their wellness policies, it will also engage parents, teachers, and businesses to support community outreach as well. One project slated for this spring is the installment of new playground equipment at West Side Park in Newark, sponsored by the Jets.

The American Dairy Association & Dairy Council (ADADC) is a not-for-profit nutrition education organization funded by dairy farmers to promote the USDA dietary guidelines as they relate to dairy. Our mission is to deliver timely, scientifically sound nutrition information on the health benefits of milk, cheese and yogurt to consumers by working with schools, retail outlets, the media and health professionals.

SOURCE American Dairy Association & Dairy Council