Smoothie King Joins Partnership Taking Aim at Childhood Obesity
- Jennifer Mullin, Sen. Harkin Communications Director: (202) 224-3254
- Caitlin Carroll, Rep. Granger Communications Director: (202) 225-5071
- Kelly Kennai, YMCA of the USA: (202) 835-9043
- Monica Vinluan, NRPA: (202) 887-0290
- Katherine Meariman, Smoothie King: (985) 635-6973 x 128
Congressional Bill Supports Stanford University Report Findings about PLAY
July 10, 2007
WASHINGTON — With children spending an average of six hours in front of a computer or TV screen each day and gym classes being cut from schools, it’s no surprise that America’s youth are getting fatter. That’s why the Partnership for Play Every Day, a non-profit public-private partnership wants to make sure all America’s children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
The Partnership today announced Smoothie King as its newest corporate partner. Smoothie King also announced plans to support the Partnership’s mission with a reward-based program in its nearly 500 stores across the country.
“We founded the company on the ideals of helping people improve their lives through health and nutrition,” said Steve Kuhnau, co-founder of Smoothie King. “Joining the fight to combat childhood obesity was a simple choice, and one that we all need to be vigilant about.”
Beginning today, Smoothie King is offering “Kings Challenge” play cards in each of its franchised locations for kids to track their daily physical activity. When the tracking card is full, the child can redeem it at any Smoothie King for a free Kids’ Kup smoothie. The play card also is available for download at www.smoothieking.com, along with ideas for getting active as a family and information about Play Every Day.
“Not only will the King’s Challenge help educate children and their parents about the importance of getting physical activity each day, but we hope it will help create positive habits and instill an appreciation for physical activity in our nation’s children,” said Kuhnau.
“Childhood obesity is a serious issue that must be addressed,” said Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), who introduced H.R. 4860, the Childhood Obesity Reduction Act in March 2006. “We want our future generations to be healthy and strong, and initiatives like Play Every Day will help make the dramatic changes necessary to solve this problem.”
“The growing epidemic of childhood obesity is a call to action for every sector of our society – families, communities, industries and government,” said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who introduced the Promoting Lifelong Active Youth (PLAY) Every Day Act earlier this year. "Our children need less time in front of the television and more time on the playgrounds, and each of us can do our part to encourage healthy behaviors."
Harkin’s bill (S. 651) and companion legislation in the House of Representatives (H.B. 2045 introduced by Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Rep. Granger), support the development of a “community play index” to allow communities to measure the policies, programs or other barriers limiting youth from participating in physical activity. Additionally, the index can help communities to identify the gaps in providing the spaces and places for kids to play.
The “community play index” was the result of a report issued by Stanford University’s School of Medicine earlier this year, available for full download at www.playeveryday.org. The Stanford study describes the lack of adequate physical activity in today’s children and adolescents, summarizes factors contributing to this lack of activity, and suggests possible strategies for reversing this trend. Included are recommendations for communities, parents, schools, corporations, the media, the government and others to help make strides on the issue.
About the Partnership for Play Every Day
Convened by the YMCA of the USA, the National Recreation and Park Association and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, the Partnership for Play Every Day is a collaborative effort is to bring together the public, private and non-profit sectors to advance policies, programs and practices that ensure all children and youth engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Learn more at www.playeveryday.org.
About Smoothie King Franchises, Inc.
Smoothie King is a privately held, New Orleans-area-based franchise company and the premier Smoothie Bar and Nutritional Lifestyle Center in the industry. Smoothie King Centers offer guests the industry’s first, original nutritional fruit- and function-based, fresh-blended smoothies. Each Lifestyle Center also offers healthy retail product solutions, including sports beverages, energy bars, healthy snacks, vitamin supplements, herbs, minerals and other sports nutrition products. Smoothie King opened its first store in 1973 and started as the first franchised smoothie bar/health food store business in the United States in 1989. Smoothie King currently has more than 475 units and 25 international locations. For more information, visit www.smoothieking.com.
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