NIH's We Can! Partners With Subway Restaurants
To Expand Movement To Prevent Childhood Obesity
National P.E.P. Rally Featuring Subway's Jared and World-Renowned
Athletes Laila Ali and Tab Ramos Kicks Off Partnership
The National Institutes of Health's We Can! program has partnered
with Subway Restaurants to reach families throughout the United
States and beyond with practical tips and tools to help children
and their parents maintain a healthy weight and prevent overweight
The partnership will be launched today at a National P.E.P. (Play
More, Eat Right, and Push Away the Screen) Rally at the D.C. Armory
in Washington, D.C. The event will feature hundreds of youth, parents,
and teachers, along with Subway spokesman Jared Fogle, boxing champion
Laila Ali, Olympic soccer star Tab Ramos, and Lawrence A. Tabak,
D.D.S., Ph.D., NIH acting principal deputy director.
"Obesity is a significant public health problem, not just
for adults, but also for our children who could suffer from lifelong
medical and psychosocial problems," noted Tabak. "We
are delighted to work with Subway Restaurants to educate children
and their families about three simple steps they can take for a
healthy weight: eat right, move more, and limit screen time."
Nearly 1 out of 3 children in the United States ages 2 to 19
is overweight or at risk of becoming overweight, according to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Extra pounds can lead
to lifelong health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood
pressure, and heart disease. In adults, overweight and obesity
contribute to these and other chronic conditions, including certain
The NIH established We Can! (Ways to Enhance Childrenís Activity & Nutrition)
in June 2005 to help prevent childhood obesity. The science-based
national education program brings families and communities together
to promote healthy weight in children ages 8 through 13 through
improved food choices, increased physical activity, and reduced
Subway will promote We Can! messages and resources in restaurants
and through the SubwayKids.com Web site. In addition, in collaboration
with Subway and Scholastic, Inc. We Can! materials have been adapted
into fun tools and activities for teachers, students, and parents,
including a "You Are What You Eat" poster, reproducible activities
for students, and send-home sheets for parents. The partnership
does not imply endorsement of Subway products.
The partnership also aims to strengthen We Can!ís extensive outreach
in communities across the United States, with Subway providing
funding for training programs for community-based educators and
leaders to help them implement We Can!ís hands-on curricula for
youth and for parents. Currently, more than 1,000 We Can! community
sites nationwide and in 11 other countries have committed to providing
We Can! programs at the local level.
At the National P.E.P. Rally, more than 300 elementary and middle
school students will participate in fun and educational activities,
such as Energy In/Energy Out, a tag-like game that emphasizes the
importance of energy balance for a healthy weight. Ramos will lead
participants in soccer training sessions, and Ali will encourage
the youth to eat well and be active every day. Fogle, who is popularly
known as "Jared from Subway," will also share his story
and talk about the importance of maintaining a healthy weight.
"Getting kids to stay healthy and active is something I
work on all year long and I am constantly on the road, going from
school to school to reach out to children," said Fogle. "Iím
proud to be here today to support the We Can! program on behalf
of Subway Restaurants because my goal is to help children avoid
the physical and emotional hardships I went through living with
National P.E.P. Rally participants will be asked to sign a pledge
to show their commitment to be active at least one hour a day,
to make healthy food choices, and to limit recreational screen
time to no more than two hours a day. All participants will receive
educational materials to support their commitment.
"Helping America's children maintain a healthy weight is a priority," said
Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., director of NIH's National Heart, Lung,
and Blood Institute, which developed We Can! "By bringing together
corporate partners with We Can! community sites, we believe we
really can help families embrace healthy lifestyles."
For more information about We Can! and to learn more about the
partnership, visit http://wecan.nhlbi.nih.gov.
To speak with an NIH spokesperson, please contact the NHLBI Communications
Office at (301) 496-4236 or at NHLBI_news@nhlbi.nih.gov.
To speak with a Subway spokesperson, please contact Megan Driscoll
at Emanate, (212) 805-8034 (work); (646) 285-7165 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT We Can!
We Can! (Ways to Enhance Childrenís Activity & Nutrition) is a
national education program of families and communities coming together
to promote healthy weight in children and youth through improved
food choices, increased physical activity, and reduced screen time.
We Can! was developed by the nationís top research and health authority — the
National Institutes of Health — and is a collaboration
of four NIH institutes: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute;
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human
Development; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases; and National Cancer Institute. The program provides parents,
caregivers and communities — from the smallest towns to the
largest cities — with ready-to-use, science-based tools,
trainings and educational sessions that encourage healthy lifestyles.
Today, more than 1,000 community sites have committed to offering
We Can! science-based educational materials and curricula to youth
and parents in their communities. We Can! has also engaged dozens
of corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations
to increase awareness and enhance product development and dissemination.
For more information about We Can!, visit http://wecan.nhlbi.nih.gov or
call toll-free at call toll-free 866-35-WE CAN.
We Can! and the We Can! logo are trademarks of the U.S. Department
of Health & Human Services (DHHS). Participation by Subway restaurants
does not imply endorsement by DHHS.
NIH joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and
the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) as members of the National
Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) to accelerate
the progress of research to reduce childhood obesity. NCCOR seeks
to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and application of childhood
obesity research and to produce positive changes more rapidly through
enhanced coordination and collaboration. For more information about
NCCOR and its initiatives, visit http://www.nccor.org/.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's
Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and
Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting
and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research,
and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both
common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and
its programs, visit www.nih.gov.