Scholastic Kids Press Corps
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NFL player Steve Slayton at a play 60 event NFL player Steve Slayton, a running back for the Houston Texans, works with students from Enslow Middle School in Huntington, West Virgninia, as part of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. (Photo courtesy Fuel Up to Play 60)

Fuel Up for Your Health!

NFL partners with Agriculture Department to get kids active

By Nicholas Arnold | null null , null

The National Football League (NFL) has joined the fight against childhood obesity. To encourage kids to become more active, Fuel Up to Play 60 was co-created by the NFL, the National Dairy Council (NDC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

"[We are] encouraging young people to be physically active," Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack told the Scholastic Kids Press Corps in a recent phone interview. "This gives you a standard by which you can determine if you're active enough. It's all a part of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative."

Fuel Up is a program to help educate kids about the positive impact of 60 minutes of daily physical activity and healthier eating. Started in 2009, Fuel Up to Play 60 has reached more than 60,000 schools.

The Friday before Super Bowl XLV, Fuel Up released a public service announcement featuring Sam Bradford of the St. Louis Rams. The announcement is about "getting attention for the program," Vilsack said.

"The NFL was very interested in promoting physical activity and spending at least 60 minutes each day being physically active," Vilsack said. "If you fuel up with good, low-fat dairy products and healthy eating habits, you're going to be able to go out and be physically active for 60 minutes."

During the off-season, NFL players will be able to continue to show their support for Fuel Up to Play 60.

"It's an opportunity for the players to do promotional events in their hometowns and community service, which is an important responsibility they have with the NFL," Vilsack said. "Each team has designated volunteers to support the program."

The USDA is also working to improve school lunches and breakfasts.

"We know a lot of young people get a number of their calories in [their school] meals and we need to do a better job of improving the quality of those lunches with more fruits and vegetables, whole grains as well as low-fat dairy products," Vilsack said. "When we encourage schools to have physical activity during the day, we're going to see a lot healthier and better students."


What's it take to live a healthy lifestyle? It's not as hard as you think! Kid Reporters talk to celebrities, athletes, chefs, and First Lady Michelle Obama about how healthy living leads to happy living. Gets tips, recipes, and more in the Healthy Kids Special Report.


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