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The Dairy Download: Fall 2010


Fuel Up to Play 60 Rings the Bell on Another Year of Healthy Habits

Back-to-school time brings a renewed energy to students, teachers and parents nationwide, generating excitement about a new year. At the same time, a crisis threatens the health of the nation’s youth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. child obesity rates have tripled over the past 30 years. In an effort to combat this growing epidemic, schools across the country are starting the 2010/2011 school year on the right foot with improved nutrition and physical activity programs. Fuel Up to Play 60, an in-school nutrition and physical activity program created in partnership with National Dairy Council (NDC) and the National Football League – with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – is once again leading the way to make youth health and wellness a national school priority.

Building on the tremendous success of its first year, Fuel Up to Play 60 is poised to inspire even more accomplishments and changes this school year. By placing the power to change in the hands of the students, youth across the country have been inspired to improve their overall health, finding new ways to eat more nutrient-rich foods and get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. For example, at Boltz Middle School in Fort Collins, Colorado, the Fuel Up to Play 60 youth team created activity kits for teachers composed of outdoor activity equipment such as Frisbees and lawn games. Designed for outdoor learning, the kits inspired teachers to take their classrooms outside and find new ways to incorporate fun activities into their lessons. In Connecticut, students in one of the state’s lowest-income school districts worked with a local nutrition professional and used messaging they learned through Fuel Up to Play 60 to help convince their principal that in-class breakfast is important. After listening to the students’ desire for healthy, nutrient-rich breakfasts, the principal decided to offer breakfast in school once a week. Beyond that, the district recently voted for in-school breakfast district-wide for the 2010/2011 school year. Schools like these are inspiring other students to make healthy changes in their schools and Fuel Up to Play 60 looks forward to even greater success this year!

Fuel Up to Play 60 Unveils New Program Elements for 2010/2011 School Year

Fuel Up to Play 60 is kicking off the 2010/2011 year with new program elements, including Fuel Up to Play 60 Challenges, which are designed to recognize and reward students’ participation every step of the way. Rewards include the chance to win fun NFL prizes and the opportunity to have their school featured on The Fuel Up to Play 60 Challenges will ask students to craft nutritious recipes, track miles walked and generate school spirit about getting healthy. The Challenges will also enable students to work together to create and submit entries through a variety of media, including the creation of their own videos.

All of these new and exciting program elements can be found on the redesigned Fuel Up to Play 60 website, updated with fun and engaging resources to help students, parents and community members of all ages support their local Fuel Up to Play 60 school. Here students have access to an interactive Playbook that contains ideas to help them get involved with the program and encourage their peers to do the same. For parents and organizations interested in getting involved with Fuel Up to Play 60 programming in their local schools, an interactive map on the new website allows users to find participating schools in their community. Additionally, an optimized tracker helps monitor healthy eating and physical activity habits daily. is continually updated with new program information and events throughout the year, so check back regularly!

Fuel Up to Play 60: A Student Leader’s Perspective

Fuel Up to Play 60’s Student Ambassador Program provides an opportunity for students to take a leadership role in their schools and communities, and encourages participation among peers and showcasing their schools’ success.

One Ambassador, 8th grader Nikki from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, used her school’s success with the program to inspire others to get involved. “It’s an amazing program that the NFL and the National Dairy Council put together for kids…to eat healthy and to get active,” Nikki says. Her enthusiasm for Fuel Up to Play 60 showcases the importance of students taking the lead to generate excitement about the program.

“One thing our Fuel Up to Play 60 team and I did was dress up as fruits, veggies and dairy foods and put on a skit for our school about the nutritional facts of each food item! I was milk,” Nikki notes. “Also, every morning, I give morning announcements with one other person on the benefits of healthy foods…We have a walking club every morning and after you walk three rounds you get a raffle ticket. [If you have the winning number] you win either an NFL prize or a Fuel Up to Play 60 prize! If you are interested in this program, it is super easy to sign up! Just go to and register there to start the program in your school!”

Another Ambassador, Cal, a 9th grader from Springdale, Arkansas, shared ways that his school uses nutrition education to show that eating healthy is fun and easy. Cal states, “We have a Fuel Up to Play 60 breakfast once a month, which really helps kids eat healthy and think about what is good for you. Omelets, yogurt and fresh fruit are some of the items served, along with a variety of milk choices. These choices are a little different every time we have our breakfast so it won’t get too boring.”

Cal reinforces the importance of developing healthy habits early in life, reminding his peers that, “It’s not too late! What you eat now will help you for the rest of your life and you’ll also be a better athlete!”

Know a student leader in your community? Encourage them to apply to be a Student Ambassador on All Fuel Up to Play 60 supporters can visit the website today for more student testimonies and additional information about ways to get involved with the program!

Fuel Up to Play 60 Teams Up with Newsweek to Create Back-to-School Guidebook

NDC collaborated with Newsweek to develop a co-branded Newsweek Back-to-School guidebook, “How to Build a Healthy Kid,” for educators, nutrition professionals, physical education teachers, administrators and other key adults who interact with and provide guidance to students in the school environment. Featuring an editorial by David Satcher, M.D., 16th U.S. Surgeon General, the guidebook has been distributed to more than 60,000 schools, along with additional tools and resources to help schools improve the health of their students as part of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. Created with insight from leaders in the health industry, this piece provides a detailed overview of the childhood obesity crisis and highlights current initiatives happening nationwide to better our youth’s health. The importance of redesigning school lunches and empowering students to shape their own healthy habits by incorporating nutrition education into school curriculums is also discussed at length. Additionally, the guidebook includes information on ways that local schools are implementing the Fuel Up to Play 60 program across the country. Check out the guidebook, available on, today!


White House Initiative and Recent Studies Reinforce the Importance of Physical Activity as America Recognizes National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, which reminds Americans that physical activity and healthy eating habits are more important than ever. Echoing this message, First Lady Michelle Obama continues to bring the childhood obesity crisis to the forefront of the conversation, following the launch of her “Let’s Move” campaign in February. This summer, she announced the latest “Let’s Move” initiative, “Chefs Move to Schools,” a collaboration with celebrity and local chefs to provide tasty, nutritious foods in schools. Chefs including Rachael Ray, Tom Colicchio and Jose Andres have accepted the First Lady’s challenge to “adopt” schools in their communities and drastically improve the nutrition, taste and appeal of foods served. Nearly 1,000 chefs have signed on to the program, banding together to improve the health of our nation’s youth.

Ensuring that children are eating nutrient-rich foods in schools through initiatives such as “Chefs Move to Schools” is a key step in fostering healthy habits in children. However, the goal of improving the health of the nation’s youth cannot be realized without also increasing the amount of physical activity kids get each day and reducing the amount of time spent on sedentary activities.

The CDC’s Physical Activity Guidelines recommend children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. However, children and teens are currently falling below this recommendation while also averaging 3 hours and 20 minutes of television watching per day, according to a new study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

For children, a growing body of evidence indicates that obesity, physical inactivity and poor nutrition are associated with lower levels of school achievement. Research also indicates that participation in physical activity can decline as children get older. According to the 2007 CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, by the time students reached high school, only 35 percent of students had participated in at least 60 minutes of physical activity during the seven days before the survey. Establishing healthy physical activity and eating habits at an early age can help children to be more engaged and focused, and achieve more in school.

These findings reinforce the importance of connecting today’s youth with programs such as Fuel Up to Play 60. Visit for ideas on how to get involved!

Dairy Council Digest Tackles Child Nutrition and Fitness

For additional information and perspective on the status of children's nutrition, physical activity and overall health, access the September/October issue of the Dairy Council Digest, "Youth Motivating Each Other to Eat Better & Exercise More." Head over to to read the latest issue and catch up on previous editions.


The Latest Child Nutrition Conversation Is Just a Click Away!

Head over to NDC’s blog, The Dairy Report, for important information and expert commentary on news and science, including:

  • Celebration of The Dairy Report's first birthday and an overview of the nearly 200 posts to-date on a variety of topics, ranging from child nutrition to lactose intolerance
  • Discussion surrounding flavored milk's role as an important nutrient contributor to a balanced diet and research that shows the visible addition of cheese to various menu offerings may help increase children's consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains compared to when cheese is not paired with them
  • Highlights from a recent National Medical Assocation regional meeting, which highlighted Fuel Up to Play 60's partnerships with leading health and nutrition professional organizations


Sign Up for NDC’s Next Webinar!

Stay tuned to The Dairy Report and for information on NDC’s next health professional-focused webinar, which will discuss the current child nutrition environment, efforts to combat the childhood obesity epidemic and how health professionals can get involved.


New Study Finds Removing Flavored Milk from Schools May Decrease Children's Nutrient Intake

Removing flavored milk from schools leads to decreased milk consumption, according to a new study, “Impact on Student Milk Consumption and Nutrient Intakes from Eliminating Flavored Milk in Schools.” The authors concluded that the results of the study, recently presented at the Society for Nutrition Education’s Annual Conference and the School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference, indicate the decline of milk consumption resulting from the elimination of flavors may cause children to miss out on the substantial nutrients milk provides, which are not easily replaced by other foods.

Conducted by Prime Consulting Group and funded by the Milk Processors Education Program (MilkPEP), the study included nearly 700 measurement days over three months at 58 elementary and secondary schools across the country. It found that when low-fat flavored milk was not available in school cafeterias, many children chose not to drink white milk. On days when only white milk was offered, milk consumption dropped an average of 35 percent, with some schools experiencing a decline of more than 50 percent. The study also revealed that milk consumption stayed down in schools that were in their second year of eliminating or restricting flavored milks. Furthermore, waste increased dramatically, with the average school experiencing 36 percent of milk wasted when only white milk was available.

Results indicate that in addition to increased waste, decreased milk intake may lead to a dramatic drop in nutrient intake among the students, as both white and flavored milk provide nine essential nutrients important for optimal health: calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin and niacin (niacin equivalents). The study also shows that if flavored milk is eliminated, schools may need to redesign their menus to ensure they deliver the essential nutrients lost through a decline in milk intake, and that replacing milk’s essential nutrients could require three to four different food items to match the nutrient contribution of milk. This substitution may add back more calories and fat to students' diets than when flavored milk was consumed, and could cost an incremental $2,200 to $4,600 more annually per 100 students. For more information, see MilkPEP’s video, “Quantifying Flavored Milk in Schools.”

Flavored milk continues to be a practical choice for kids, teens and adults to enjoy milk and its nine essential nutrients. Incorporating low-fat and fat-free dairy into a healthy diet can help provide three of the five nutrients identified as “nutrients of concern” for children in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans - calcium, magnesium and potassium. For more information on research indicating that children who drink flavored milk get more calcium and other critical nutrients; do not have higher total intakes of added sugars or total fat; and drink fewer soft drinks compared to children who do not drink flavored milk, visit



Ask the Expert: Fuel Up to Play 60 and Child Nutrition

Expert: Dayle Hayes, MS, RD

Question: How can youth, parents and teachers work together to develop healthy habits that last all year?

Answer: Too many of today's children are overweight - and even more are undernourished, meaning that they lack the necessary nutrients to grow strong bodies and smart brains. Teaching young people to establish healthy eating habits, which include choosing nutrient-rich foods from all five food groups (low-fat and fat-free dairy foods, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats), is more important now than ever before. The nation's leading health and nutrition authorities agree that the time is now to solve childhood obesity within a generation.

In-school programs, such as Fuel Up to Play 60, are a great way to get everyone working together towards the solution. The program is designed to engage and empower youth to take action for their own health by implementing long-term, positive nutrition and fitness changes for themselves and their schools. The goal is to ensure they achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day and consume nutrient-rich foods.

While this program is driven by students, teachers and parents are critical in guiding them in positive directions. Changes at home and school can complement each other by picking up where the other left off every morning and night. During the day, teachers can utilize the Program Advisor Guide and Fuel Up to Play 60 Activation Kit for ideas, rewards and challenges to get kids moving and eating healthy. Parents can support the same goals at home by incorporating family walks, playing basketball or jumping rope at the local park district, and ensuring kids eat nutrient-rich foods for dinner every night.

Our children are confronted by an unprecedented crisis in terms of their weight and nutrition. Fortunately, this problem is as serious as it is solvable - if we work together as families, school and communities.

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