MEDELLIN, Colombia, June 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Representatives of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) today joined educators, government officials and the private sector to announce the formation of the "Latin American Commitment to a Healthy Future". This new multi-sector partnership will focus on empowering school children and their families in Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil to achieve and maintain a healthy diet and active lifestyle. The announcement was made at a press event at the World Economic Forum on Latin America 2016.
The "Latin American Commitment to a Healthy Future" will help school students and their families make healthy decisions that over time become healthy habits for life," said Becky Johnson, HWCF Executive Director. "We have reached more than 35 million children in the U.S. with healthy lifestyle lessons and can use that experience to reach millions of children in Latin America with similar information and messages."
The "Latin American Commitment to a Healthy Future" will provide a regional website, with relevant information per country including Healthy Habits programs evaluated with homologated indicators and other tools that support the engagement of families, communities and schools with the objective of encouraging positive and permanent lifestyle changes among school-aged children and their families.
Additionally we will work with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, and HWCF, to develop customized "Together Counts™" health and wellness school curriculum. These materials will help students and their families make healthy decisions, and better understand the importance of those decisions in the broader context of individual, family and community health and wellness goals. The online educational resources, available at no-cost for all teachers, students and families, can be accessed at the Discovery en la Escuela platform. Discovery Education will be providing virtual seminars and in-school teacher training across Latin America on how to best utilize the material and integrate it into the teachers' curriculum.
Discovery en la Escuela (DEE) is a free educational initiative of Discovery Networks Latin America / US Hispanic networks (DLA/ USH,) available to all schools across Latin America. This digital resource is presented in conjunction with subscription television partners, with exclusive broadcast by the Discovery Channel. DEE is in 17 countries, reaching two million students in 30,000 schools, and has trained 32,000 teachers in Latin America. More information available at http://www.discoveryenlaescuela.com/quienes_somos.
"It is imperative we reach school children and their families throughout Latin America and provide them with the tools and information they need to make healthy choices and lead healthy lives," said Mary Rollins, Discovery Education Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships. "Discovery Education is proud to support the "Latin American Commitment to a Healthy Future" by developing engaging curriculum and digital resources that resonate with school children and empowers them to make good decisions about their own individual health and wellness."
The "Together Counts™" program, originally launched in the U.S., demonstrated in an impact study that students who engaged in the program's curriculum: 1) increased their understanding of balancing food intake and physical activity; 2) added one or more physical activities per week to their routine and; 3) made healthier nutrition choices. Additionally, more than 90% of the U.S. educators who implemented the curriculum in their classroom felt it made a positive impact on their students. By expanding tools and resources into Latin American classrooms, the program aims to achieve similar positive results for Latin American students, educators and families.
"I can't wait to use the Together Counts health and wellness lessons in my classroom," said Marie-Claire Binder, an English teacher in Medellin-Colombia. "Children need to learn that food and physical activity can be healthy and fun, and I am sure this curriculum will help us get that message across to our students and their families."
The "Latin American Commitment to a Healthy Future", is a broad-based multi-sector organization committed to promoting healthy habits in children and families. It will include food and beverage companies, public health organizations, government agencies and other stakeholders. Founding members include The Coca-Cola Company, Coca-Cola FEMSA, PepsiCo and Postobon. Following today's Colombia launch, the "Latin American Commitment to a Healthy Future" will partner with HWCF and Discovery Education to launch similar school curriculum programs in Mexico, Brazil and other countries across Latin America in the coming months.
About the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation
The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) is a broad-based not-for-profit organization whose mission is to help reduce obesity, especially childhood obesity, by encouraging positive and permanent lifestyle changes among school-aged children and their families. The Foundation develops and implements innovative and collaborative educational, marketplace and community solutions with its coalition of 300 corporate and not-for-profit partners. Through its free, award-winning Together Counts™ healthy lifestyle school curriculum, the Foundation has reached more than 35.6 million students. As the first commitment to First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative and verified by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the HWCF's food and beverage company members gave consumers more lower calorie options by removing 6.4 trillion calories from their products– surpassing their pledge by more than 400% three years ahead of schedule.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education's services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.
SOURCE Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation