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Novus Helps Fight Childhood Obesity

by 5m Editor
28 April 2011, at 9:47am

US - Novus International, Inc., is working with Progressive Agriculture Foundation to fight childhood obesity.

Novus International, Inc., has teamed up with the Progressive Agriculture Foundation® (PAF) to educate children about healthy eating habits in an effort to help curb the growing obesity epidemic among children and adolescents. The organisations are working together to develop healthy lifestyle lessons that will be provided through the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® programme and will enable rural communities to find ways to have a healthier school lunch programme for rural youth.

The pilot project is being made possible by a Healthy Lifestyle Challenge grant from Novus. The company will match up to $110,000 in contributions through the grant, meaning total funding for the project could reach $220,000. The grant will support five school-based safety and health day programmes selected to receive resources that educate children about living a healthy lifestyle. Educational lessons will focus on the USDA food pyramid, the importance of eating healthy foods and the need to engage in physical activity. The same five communities selected during the pilot phase of the project will also hold health and nutrition symposiums that will discuss ways of providing healthier food choices for children in school cafeterias.

Thad Simons, President and CEO of Novus International, Inc., explained: "Educating young individuals, and their parents, about leading healthy lifestyles at an early age is the first step in the fight to reduce childhood obesity. As children grow mentally and physically, it is important they have access to knowledge and resources that will help them develop healthy eating and lifestyle habits at an early age. From improving access to healthy food choices to getting children more physically active, we each have a responsibility to combat this growing epidemic."

The programme was developed in response to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which revealed that childhood obesity has more than tripled in the United States during the last 30 years. Studies indicate children who are overweight or obese are more likely than youth of a normal weight to become overweight or obese adults who have increased risks of developing health problems associated with the disease later in life, such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes.

Randy Bernhardt, chief administrative officer and executive director of development for PAF, said: "The Progressive Agriculture Foundation is extremely grateful to the leadership of Novus International, who not only recognise we're facing a serious issue but who are willing to help solve the problem. Childhood obesity will only continue to spiral out of control if we stand back idly and don’t do anything about it. This is why we're committed to doing everything in our power to reverse this trend."

The Progressive Agriculture Foundation provides training and resources to help local community members conduct one-day safety and health educational programmes that are age-appropriate, hands-on and fun for rural children and families. The Safety Day programme has been in existence for 17 years and has grown to become the largest rural safety and health educational program in North America.