Steelers, Eagles on same team on childhood obesity
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The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles announced yesterday that they are teaming up with the state of Pennsylvania to fight childhood obesity in middle schools statewide.
The partnership -- called "What Moves U?" -- is designed to motivate students to become more physically active.
Under the program, developed by the National Football League and the American Heart Association, teachers will incorporate physical activity into their lesson plans to help students become more fit.
Participating schools can compete to earn prizes, including tickets to NFL games, autographed merchandise and player visits to their schools.
Dr. Calvin B. Johnson, state health secretary, said the program and other initiatives are "long-term investments that will be paid back when our children grow up to be healthy adults."
Dr. Johnson said childhood obesity has grown over the years and is a tremendous health concern for every health-care professional.
"We have an obligation to ensure that our kids have every opportunity to grow up healthy and achieve their full potential," he said.
"That doesn't happen when preventable health conditions stand in their way."
Does that mean we can't have a hot dog, pierogi or Philly cheese steak?
"It doesn't mean that at all," Dr. Johnson said. "It means we have to be conscious and aware of what we are putting in, because the calories need to go somewhere."
State Education Secretary Gerald Zahorchak said the "What Moves U?" program goes beyond "passive learning" and engages the students in everyday academic lessons.
"We are making sure that the wellness standards of Pennsylvania are integrated with other standard areas," said Dr. Zahorchak.
In the coming weeks, Dr. Zahorchak said, hundred of schools across the state will receive announcements about the program. He said schools that participate will receive ideas for lesson plans for multiple subject areas.
First Published August 26, 2007 11:53 pm