On Your Mark ... Get Set ... Start Walking for Better Health Chicago!

Coca-Cola and Dr. Ian Smith Introduce The Makeover Mile to Help Chicago Residents Take First Steps Toward Improving Health, Overcoming Obesity

Jun 02, 2011, 10:00 ET from The Coca-Cola Company

CHICAGO, June 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Lace up your sneakers, add some spring to your step and join Coca-Cola and TV's popular medical and diet expert, Dr. Ian Smith as The Makeover Mile makes its last stop in Chicago!  This new initiative from Dr. Ian brings a one-mile walk and health fair to Chicago to educate residents on living a more active, healthy lifestyle. The walks were created as an extension of Dr. Ian's popular 50 Million Pound Challenge program and are being made possible, in part, by Coca-Cola's Live Positively initiative.  

"For decades, Coca-Cola has strived to make a positive difference in people's lives and the communities where they live, work and play," said Dawn Kirk, Chicago Market Unit Vice President, Coca-Cola Refreshments. "We are excited to partner with Dr. Ian to help people in Chicago take those first steps on an important path to better health and well-being."

Since March, Dr. Ian and The Makeover Mile have visited other communities across the country including Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas and Los Angeles, reaching nearly 4,000 people to date.  Chicago's walk is expected to draw a crowd of families and friends from all neighborhoods and will feature appearances from local dignitaries including Alderman Robert W. Fioretti of Chicago's second ward.

"Obesity and its related medical consequences are complicated issues. There is no single solution or problem solver, rather it's going to require various and numerous soldiers to win this difficult fight," said Dr. Ian Smith, creator and founder of The Makeover Mile and 50 Million Pound Challenge. "It's my aim to gather many different stakeholders across the country to provide education and resources directly to the people who need it the most, especially in communities that have a high rate of obesity and diminished access to quality healthcare."

Following the walk, participants and the public are invited to join a health fair that will provide free health screenings, fitness demonstrations and a healthy cooking demonstration led by local registered dietitian Sylvia Melendez-Klinger of Hispanic Food Communications, Inc.  Other physicians and health providers dedicated to helping people understand how to make simple changes to improve their quality of life will also attend.  To learn more about the Makeover Mile, visit www.makeovermile.com.

The Coca-Cola Company is guided by a philosophy called "Live Positively" – an expression of who we are, what we do and why we are committed to impacting the lives of consumers.  Sponsorship of The Makeover Mile is just one of many things our company is doing to help Americans lead a more active, healthy lifestyle.  Earlier this year, Coca-Cola's Midwest Headquarters, based just outside Chicago in Niles, donated several interactive HOPSports exercise equipment systems to the Waukegan, King, McCormack and Logan Square Boys & Girls Clubs.  Using 21st century technology, HOPSports educates, trains and entertains youth of all ages while promoting accelerated learning, character education, health, nutrition and social messaging in a multi-screen, dynamic format. Visit www.LivePositively.com to learn more about other programs the Company supports.

The Coca Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio features 15 billion dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply and Georgia. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of 1.7 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.

SOURCE The Coca-Cola Company