CHICAGO, April 8, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- On Saturday, April 12, more than 600,000 kids and families will celebrate the 17th Annual YMCA Healthy Kids(R) Day -- the nation's largest health day for kids and families -- at more than 1,800 YMCAs nationwide. YMCA Healthy Kids Day encourages families to "Put Play in Their Day" during a free, fun-filled day that includes interactive games, engaging and creative family activities, and health give-aways to encourage children and families to adopt behaviors that support a healthier lifestyle.
Through YMCA Healthy Kids Day, YMCAs help families play more, embrace nutritious food choices and build stronger connections within the family and with others. New this year, YMCAs will introduce families to Healthy Family Home(TM), a community partnership with the YMCA, funded by Eli Lilly and Company. This free resource has been developed to help families across America with young children assess and modify their home behaviors and environments to help support improvements in health and well-being.
"The challenge is that many families see healthy living as all or nothing-a healthy lifestyle can seem overwhelming or out of reach," said YMCA of the USA President and CEO Neil Nicoll. "Through YMCA Healthy Kids Day and Healthy Family Home, we are helping families make small, sustainable changes in areas of eating better, getting exercise and connecting as a family -- to build a healthier, happier life."
Healthy Family Home leverages two of the most powerful forces affecting health and well-being: 1) the family home, and 2) the proven impact of small, sustainable changes. YMCAs will distribute 500,000 Healthy Family Home Starter Kits to families participating in YMCA Healthy Kids Day and will offer downloadable starter kits free to all families online beginning April 12 at http://www.healthyfamilyhome.org.
"For nearly 160 years, YMCAs have responded to critical social issues by developing initiatives and programs that help improve the physical, emotional and spiritual health of millions of Americans from all backgrounds and in all types of communities," said Nicoll. "We understand that many Americans desire a healthier lifestyle. Whether at YMCA facilities, out in the community or in their own homes, we want families to know that the YMCA can help them get started."
Leading national companies dedicated to improving the health and wellness of American kids and families are joining with YMCA of the USA to support YMCA Healthy Kids Day events. National partners include Disney Channel, Eli Lilly and Company, Northwestern Mutual Foundation and Tropicana.
YMCA Healthy Kids Day also is supported nationally by leading health organizations, including the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Public Health Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors.
YMCA Healthy Kids Day and Healthy Family Home are part of Activate America(R), the YMCA's ambitious public health initiative that is seeking to make healthy living a reality for millions of Americans by directly helping individuals and families live healthier lives, and by helping YMCAs lead both their communities and the nation in reducing barriers and increasing support for healthy living.
For more information about YMCAs visit http://www.ymca.net.
YMCA of the USA is the national resource office for the nation's 2,663 YMCAs, which serve nearly 20.2 million people each year, including 9.4 million children under the age of 18. Through a variety of programs and services focused on the holistic development of children and youth, family strengthening and health and well-being for all, YMCAs unite men, women and children of all ages, faiths, backgrounds, abilities and income levels. From urban areas to small towns, YMCAs have proudly served America's communities for nearly 160 years by building healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
For more information about Disney Channel visit http://corporate.disney.go.com.
Disney Channel Worldwide (NYSE:DIS) represents the most successful portfolio of kids' channels in the world. Comprised of 27 Disney Channels, 10 Playhouse Disney Channels and 10 Toon Disney Channels, and through a strategic partnership with Disney ABC International Television for the distribution of Disney-branded blocks of kids' programming across the globe, Disney Channel Worldwide reaches more than 600 million viewers in over 100 countries in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Latin America and South Africa. Disney Channel properties continue to rapidly expand into new markets across the world, playing a key role in introducing the Disney brand to new consumers.
For more information about Eli Lilly and Company visit http://www.lilly.com.
Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY), a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers -- through medicines and information -- for some of the world's most urgent medical needs.
For more information about Northwestern Mutual, its subsidiaries and affiliates visit http://www.nmfn.com.
The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) is committed to improving quality of life by concentrating its charitable contributions in the areas of Health and Human Services, Education, and Arts and Culture. Last year the Northwestern Mutual Foundation contributed $14.4 million to community betterment, both locally and nationally. For more than 150 years, Northwestern Mutual has been serving the financial needs of its policyowners and clients. The company, with over $1 trillion of life insurance protection in force, maintains the highest available ratings for insurance financial strength from all four major rating agencies: Standard & Poor's, Fitch Ratings, A. M. Best and Moody's. For 25 years, a FORTUNE magazine survey has named Northwestern Mutual "America's Most Admired" company in the life/health insurance industry.
For more information about Tropicana, visit http://www.tropicana.com.
Tropicana Pure Premium(R) orange juice is among the 300 products from PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) that carry the Smart Spot(TM) symbol -- a designation that makes it easier for consumers to identify PepsiCo products that can contribute to healthier lifestyles. Products that feature the Smart Spot(TM) symbol meet established nutrition criteria based on authoritative statements from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Academy of Sciences.
Contact: Leah Pouw Lynn Harmon YMCA of the USA Harmon Group for YMCA of the USA 312.419.8325 314.604.1145 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: YMCA of the USA