Reebok; Mushroom Council Announce New Commitments to the Childhood Obesity Fight at Partnership for a Healthier America Annual Summit

Reebok's $30 million, three-year commitment is aimed at increasing physical activity in kids;

Mushroom Council will launch a marketing and school-based healthy eating campaign

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, during the second day of the Building a Healthier Future Summit, Reebok and the Mushroom Council announced new commitments to the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA). PHA, which is hosting the summit, works with the private sector and PHA Honorary Chair First Lady Michelle Obama to solve the nation's childhood obesity crisis.

"Exploring innovative options for encouraging healthier eating and increasing physical activity is one of the central goals of the 2013 Building a Healthier Future Summit," said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. "Momentum to reverse this epidemic is building every day thanks to organizations like Reebok and the Mushroom Council, which understand the problem and are determined to be part of the solution."

Reebok – Reebok, the global fitness brand, has invested $5 million over the last three years in providing access to fitness to children through the BOKS program nationally, and will invest an additional $30 million over the next three years in organizations and activities that promote physical activity and fitness. A substantial part of this commitment is to successfully grow the BOKS program to as many schools, as possible giving more children access to fitness around the country. BOKS, is a free, before-school physical activity program that was started by moms, energized by Reebok and is supported by communities. 

The Mushroom Council, an organization that nationally promotes fresh mushrooms, will help Americans understand the importance of a balanced diet and raise awareness about different ways that mushrooms can help create healthier options for everyday dishes. The Council's multi-faceted commitment to PHA consists of a number of marketing and school-based components, exposing Americans to more nutritious and creative ways to incorporate healthy eating into their lifestyles. 

Specifically Reebok is making the following commitments:

  • Invest $30 million total over three years in organizations and initiatives that promote physical activity and fitness.  
  • Invest $10 million annually through 2015 in organizations and initiatives that engage children and adults at their current fitness level and encourage them to integrate physical activity into daily activities. These broader efforts will span multiple channels and may include:
  • Offering and promotion of free fitness classes and education opportunities in Reebok's owned-retail stores and, where possible, in the stores of major retail partners;
  • Creation and promotion of a free "fitness app" which will allow consumers to access fitness coaching anytime and anywhere;
  • Collaborating with other fitness-related brands and events which include a children's component or which may serve as aspirational targets for children;
  • Use of Reebok-endorsed fitness athletes to convey Reebok's messages regarding the importance of fitness and healthy lifestyles for children, families, and communities;
  • Orienting advertising and marketing efforts (including social media) to heighten awareness of the importance of fitness for children, their families, and their communities; and
  • Cause-related marketing efforts to support both BOKS and other related fitness goals and programs for children, families and communities.
  • Continue funding the youth physical activity program BOKS at a minimum amount of $2 million per year. With this investment, Reebok will support BOKS in its plan to do the following:
  • Substantially expand the BOKS program from 200 schools in 2012 to at least 1,000 schools by 2015, which includes efforts to reach schools serving low-income populations;
  • In partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, develop and utilize BOKS Burst, a condensed version of the curriculum comprised of 2-to 5-minute physical activity breaks for teacher use. BOKS plans to distribute the BOKS Burst program to 14,000 Alliance for a Healthier Generation schools, reaching an estimated 2 million youth;
  • Provide funding to incorporate the full BOKS program in up to 150 Alliance for a Healthier Generation schools in 2013 and expansion in up to an additional 330 schools through a collaboration with ChildObesity180.
  • Provide online resources intended to support the viral growth of BOKS or BOKS-style before-school activity programs.

Specifically the Mushroom Council is making the following commitments, to be executed over the next three years:

Marketing

  • Execute communication programs including one to three family-focused recipe contests to engage all ages in healthy cooking.
  • Educate a minimum of 50 percent of the top 100 restaurant chains regarding new ways to add more produce to their offerings. 
  • Work with 10 restaurant chains and colleges or universities to create new menu ideas or concepts that follow the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and showcase the addition of more produce through innovative mushroom culinary techniques.

National School Food Programs

  • Work with school systems to increase mushroom-based meal items within the current or forthcoming USDA school meal guidelines.
  • Facilitate a minimum of 10 school pilot programs that will incorporate mushrooms and mushroom/meat blends on the menu. These programs will be supported by onsite kitchen training and will measure serving numbers and student acceptability.
  • Coordinate the development and sharing of 30 to 40 recipes for schools that cook on location. Recipes will focus on meat/mushroom blends and uses for fresh mushrooms.

Product Innovation

  • Work with one to three meat-processing partners to develop new product prototypes that will be tested and evaluated to meet school food nutrition standards.
  • Develop at least four new meat/mushroom blended products to be shared with the USDA for school foodservice.

Nutritional Educators

  • Engage key educators of parents and children, such as public health and community nutrition experts to communicate the nutrition benefits of blending mushrooms and meat.
  • Develop and share a Mushroom Council School Nutrition resource webpage for school food experts, with nutrition information and recipes that fit into USDA school meal standards.

The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation's youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with – but independent from – First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! effort. PHA is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is led by some of the nation's most respected health and childhood obesity experts. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Most important, PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress our partners are making. For more information about PHA, please visit www.aHealthierAmerica.org and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.

SOURCE Partnership for a Healthier America



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