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Eagles, Steelers Fight Against Childhood Obesity

Armen Hareyan's picture

Childhood Obesity

Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers announced a new partnership with the state of Pennsylvania to fight the epidemic of childhood obesity. The partnership will present WHAT MOVES U?, designed to motivate school children to become more physically active.

Under the WHAT MOVES U? program, teachers incorporate physical activity into their lesson plans to help children become more fit while they learn. This program is being brought to schools by the state's Balance Campaign, a wellness initiative for kids, and a first-time partnership between the Eagles and Steelers.

WHAT MOVES U? is a curriculum based activity program designed for middle school students. With help from their teachers, students can participate in classroom activities to earn points so that they can compete with other classrooms across the state. Participants can earn prizes including game tickets, autographed merchandise, player visits to their school and more -- simply for being physically active.

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"This important and exciting program focuses on making our kids healthy so that they can enjoy physical activity which energizes the body and mind," said Health Secretary Dr. Calvin B. Johnson. "This program and similar initiatives -- such as Governor Edward G. Rendell's Prescription for Pennsylvania -- are long-term investments that will be paid back when our children grow up to be healthy adults."

The WHAT MOVES U? program was developed by the NFL and the American Heart Association to encourage children to adopt a healthy lifestyle. The program will be supported with television advertising in pre-season games and various programs throughout the year, radio advertising during game broadcasts, in-stadium exposure, player appearances at select middle schools, and on the internet.

Players from the Eagles and the Steelers will promote discipline, hard work and respect for one's body to get students excited about fitness and their long term health. Activity kits, adorned by each team's spokesperson, will be distributed to classrooms across the state. Wide Receiver Hank Baskett will represent the Eagles and Defensive End Brett Keisel will represent the Steelers.

"We are excited to partner with the Philadelphia Eagles on such a wonderful and important statewide program," said Tony Quatrini, Director of Marketing for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mark Donovan, Eagles Senior Vice President of Business Operations added, "The Eagles are proud to partner with the Steelers and the state to support the What Moves U? program. Using the excitement of our sport and our players to encourage physical activity as a lifestyle is a great way to promote awareness of the issue. Programs that support and empower teachers are positive examples of how working together we can impact the lives of our fans."

"The Pennsylvania Department of Education is committed to ensuring that our students are given the proper tools to succeed in and out of the classroom. This program does just that by integrating wellness education into the student's regular studies," said Education Secretary Gerald L. Zahorchak. "Our two great Pennsylvania football teams are taking an active role in helping to motivate and teach our children how to get and stay fit."