WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --The Washington Redskins and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced today they are teaming up with Redskins quarterback and health advocate Donovan McNabb to help tackle the nation's childhood obesity epidemic. As the newly appointed 2010 Redskins Health Ambassador, McNabb will work side by side with Washington, D.C. youth to demonstrate fun and easy ways to make exercise part of their daily lives. Beating childhood obesity is a top priority on the local and national agenda, gaining momentum through the Redskins' commitment to the Play 60 movement for an active generation and first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign. D.C. has one of the highest childhood obesity rates in the nation, which has long-term implications since obesity is linked to chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer.
"We can beat this! I'm so excited to teach kids and their parents how exercising for 60 minutes a day will keep them healthy and help prevent chronic diseases. Football has always motivated me to stay active, fit and healthy, and I want to motivate kids to find an activity that will help them do the same," said McNabb. "Seeing the effect chronic disease has had on my father's life has pushed me to help kids take up healthy habits and provide them with the right tools for a healthier future. Like I tell my father – together, we can beat this."
For the second consecutive year, the Redskins and GlaxoSmithKline, through its GSK Healthy Communities® program, have united to promote health and wellness programs that can combat the effects of chronic diseases. To bring greater attention to National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, McNabb and the Redskins will lead a series of youth fitness events throughout the area in September, including:
- Recess by the River (September 14), a program coordinated by the American Heart Association and the D.C. Parks & Recreation, supported by CareFirst, the Redskins and GlaxoSmithKline, that teaches children the importance of exercising and other positive, long-lasting behavioural changes affecting their health. More than 1,000 children from D.C. Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8 currently participate in this campaign.
- Redskins "Play 60" at FedExField (September 21), an event made possible by the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and GlaxoSmithKline that will bring together more than 1,000 kids from around Washington, D.C. to teach them that exercising and staying active is fun and good for their health. McNabb, joined by teammates and the Redskins Cheerleaders, will lead more than 1,000 kids through an interactive group fitness session to highlight the importance of daily exercise and healthy food choices and to establish the Guinness World Record for the "largest virtual exercise lesson."
"On the field, Donovan McNabb is a fierce competitor and exceptional leader, and we are proud to work with him off the field to help kids stay healthy," said Jack Bailey, Senior VP, GlaxoSmithKline. "GlaxoSmithKline and the Washington Redskins are committed to beating chronic diseases and improving the health of our nation through programs focused on wellness that empower Americans to prevent chronic diseases by making healthy decisions like eating better, increasing physical activity and quitting smoking."
The Redskins and GlaxoSmithKline believe that even small steps toward disease prevention and management of chronic diseases – in addition to medical research – can have a big impact on the health of Americans and reducing U.S. health care costs. For more information about this program, please visit www.donovansplaybook.com.
About Chronic Diseases
Chronic diseases – including diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease and lung disease – are among the most common, costly and preventable of all health problems in the United States. These diseases take a heavy toll on the overall health of people in the U.S. and also have significant implications on health care spending. Specifically, chronic diseases account for 75 cents of every dollar spent on health care, which translates to nearly $7,900 spent on each American with a chronic disease. Chronic diseases are responsible for 70 percent of all deaths in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), preventive screenings and early intervention represent important steps in controlling the huge personal and financial costs of chronic diseases.
About GSK Healthy Communities
GSK Healthy Communities is a program designed to help individuals take charge of their health and improve outcomes. The main areas of focus are Patient Empowerment, Patient Assistance and Community Partnerships. Separately, each area is a far-reaching means for improving individual lives. Together, they empower us all to do more, feel better and live longer.
GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and health care companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit www.gsk.com.
About Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation
The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, the non-profit philanthropic arm of the team, combines the influence and popularity of the Washington Redskins with the resources and assets of Washington area corporations. Founded by Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder, the Charitable Foundation is guided by its Leadership Council that consists of CEOs who help shape and define the philanthropic efforts of the Redskins to achieve a measurable impact on youth development in the areas of education, community outreach, and health and wellness. Under the health and wellness umbrella Redskins Play 60 focuses on getting area youth active for 60 minutes a day through the installation of Redskins Youth Fitness Zones, the Play 60 Challenge, First Down for Fitness and other initiatives. Visit www.Redskins.com and click on Community for more information.
Kevin Colgan, GlaxoSmithKline
Tony Wyllie, Washington Redskins