ARAMARK Education, one of the nation’s leading providers of food and nutrition services to more than 3,000 schools, yesterday announced the launch of it’s latest endeavor to promote healthy habits among America’s youth – Healthy for Life.
To help reduce and reverse incidents of childhood obesity, the Healthy for Life program is designed to cultivate an improved culture around nutrition and healthy lifestyles. ARAMARK Education initiated this program as part of its commitment to First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign.
According to USA Today, while national estimates project that one in three children are obese, a recent study featured in the September issue of Prediatrics Magazine reveals that African American, Hispanic and Native American girls are two to three times more likely than white girls to have a high body mass index. Likewise, during the course of a seven year study, while obesity rates among Hispanic girls leveled off midway through the evaluation period, weight gain persisted among African American and American Indian girls.
By integrating healthier food choices into daily meals, and working with parents, students and teachers to create healthier school environments, Healthy for Life strives to foster an increased awareness about the process and benefits of healthy living.
“Obesity and poor health is rampant in our country and our children are particularly at risk. Given the number of children ARAMARK touches each day, this issue has moved to the forefront of our mission,” said Dennis Maple, President of ARAMARK Education. “With Healthy for Life, we can make a difference in every school ARAMARK serves by engaging the entire school community—parents, administrators, educators and students—to work together toward a lifetime of good health.”
In addition to providing a variety of high-quality, low calorie meals and snacks to K-12 students, the Healthy for Life program will also facilitate the creation of “Wellness Education Centers” in the main offices of participating schools. It will also provide informational resources like, “Ask the Dietitian,” “Understanding Serving Sizes,” and “What Is A Healthy Diet.” Age-specific dining environments are also being used to encourage healthy living in innovative new ways.
With more than 500 school districts in its imprint, ARAMARK Education is doing its part to combat childhood obesity.