FORT WORTH, Texas, Aug. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dannon Company, Inc. today awarded Cook Children's a Dannon Next Generation Nutrition® Grant totaling $30,000 in support of its Nutrition University, a healthy eating and exercise program dedicated to fostering positive lifestyle habits for overweight children. Dannon presented the award during an event in conjunction with the Tax Free Weekend Back to School Expo at North East Mall.
Taught by Cook Children's registered dietitians, Nutrition University includes nutrition presentations, cooking demonstrations and healthy family dinner nights and encourages yogurt as part of a balanced diet. This year the program will directly serve 600 children and their parents. As part of the award, the Dannon Next Generation Nutrition® Grant will provide scholarships for 100 children who might not otherwise be able to participate in the program.
"Programs like Nutrition University provide an opportunity for youth to learn important nutritional information that will help them build on a healthy future," said Gayle Binney, Dannon's corporate responsibility manager. "For 70 years, Dannon has created great-tasting yogurt that also provides essential nutrients like calcium, protein, and potassium. We couldn't be prouder to partner with a program like Cook Children's and to offer scholarship funding for this program to low-income families."
Nutrition University is working to combat childhood obesity and promote the consumption of foods that are lacking in children's diets, like low-fat dairy. According to the Center for Disease Control's 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, sixteen percent of Texas youth are overweight and another 16% are obese—putting this group at significantly greater risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and a range of other illnesses. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, consumption of dairy products such as yogurt is linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes, lower blood pressure and improved bone health.
Cook Children's Health Care System President and CEO Rick Merrill said, "Our relationship with Dannon is significant because it will aid our efforts to improve the health of children through these nutrition programs. We are grateful for their financial support and are so pleased that their employees will join with us throughout the year to promote good health."
"Childhood obesity is a life-threatening condition that deserves our undivided attention in this country and in the state of Texas," said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. "I'm excited to be here supporting Dannon and Cook Children's for the fantastic work they are doing to keep our families healthy."
Dannon established the Dannon Next Generation Nutrition® Grant to promote childhood nutrition education in each of the four communities where a Dannon facility is located. As part of the program, Dannon contributes $30,000 to one non-profit organization in each of the following communities ($120,000 in total) Auglaize, Mercer, Darke, or Shelby County, Ohio; Salt Lake County, Utah; Tarrant County, Texas; and Westchester County, New York, for programs that nurture healthy eating habits among children. Over the last seven years, programs funded through the Dannon Next Generation Nutrition® Grant have reached more than 2,000 children in Tarrant County.
Today's grant ceremony, held at North East Mall, was attended by Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Fort Worth Council Member Frank Moss, Tarrant County Director of Public Health Lou Brewer, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bill Thornton and Fort Worth ISD Director of Health and Physical Education Georgi Roberts. Also in attendance were Cook Children's Medical Director of Clinical Research Dr. James Marshall and Grants Administrator Johnell Kelley; Dannon Corporate Responsibility Manager Gayle Binney; and Dannon's Fort Worth Plant Director Pere Costa Torrent.
About Cook Children's
Cook Children's Health Care System is a not-for-profit, nationally recognized pediatric health care organization comprised of eight entities – a Medical Center, Physician Network, Home Health company, Northeast Hospital, Pediatric Surgery Center, Health Plan, Health Services Inc., and Health Foundation. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, the integrated system has more than 60 primary and specialty care offices throughout North Texas. Its service region includes Denton, Hood, Johnson, Parker, Tarrant and Wise counties, with an additional referral area encompassing nearly half the state.
Cook Children's traces its roots back to 1918, but throughout its continual change and robust growth, it still embraces an inspiring promise – to improve the health of every child in its region through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury. To live up to this promise, Cook Children's combines the art of caring with the use of leading technology and extraordinary collaboration to provide exceptional care for every child, every day. For more information, please visit www.cookchildrens.org.
About Nutrition University
Nutrition University is an eight-week healthy eating and exercise program aimed at changing the nutrition and lifestyle habits of children who are overweight and challenged by obesity. The program, taught by Cook Children's registered dietitians, features cooking demonstrations, nutrition presentations, and dietitian-led family dinner nights held at community organizations. The 2012 program will impact 600 school-aged children as well as their parents. Dannon's funding will not only provide support for Nutrition University, but will also provide scholarships for 100 children who might not otherwise be able to participate in this program.
About The Dannon Company, Inc.
Celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2012 and headquartered in White Plains, New York, Dannon has plants in Minster, OH, Fort Worth, TX, West Jordan, UT, and Portland, OR. Dannon makes more than 200 different flavors, styles and sizes of cultured refrigerated and frozen dairy products to serve its retail and foodservice customers. In its pursuit to bring health through food to as many people as possible, Dannon is committed to Americans enjoying yogurt every day as one of the three recommended daily servings of dairy.
Dannon is a subsidiary of Danone, and Dannon is the top-selling brand of yogurt worldwide, sold under the names Dannon and Danone. Danone holds top positions globally in healthy food through four businesses: it ranks number one worldwide in fresh dairy products, number two in bottled water and baby nutrition, and is Europe's number one medical nutrition company. Listed on Euronext Paris, Danone is a component stock of leading social responsibility indexes including the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes DJSI Stoxx and DJSI World, ASPI Eurozone and the Ethibel Sustainability Index.