Jacksonville, Fla. – Across the country, National Football League (NFL) players are teaming up with United Way to engage more NFL fans in improving the health and wellness of young people. Cecil Shorts III, wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars recently joined a group of local kids for a United Way photo shoot as part of a nationwide campaign by United Way and the NFL to increase awareness about childhood obesity and inspire more people to get involved in helping kids get active and healthy.
“Staying active and eating well has been a big part of my success,” said Cecil Shorts III wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars. “Exercise and nutrition play important roles in creating a healthy, productive life.”
Lack of physical activity and poor nutrition are responsible for much of America’s obesity crisis. Approximately 12.5 million children and adolescents are obese, increasing their risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes. Given that a nutritious diet and regular physical activity is essential to good health, United Way is working to increase access to nutritious foods for families and increase opportunities for physical exercise and play.
“We know that students who are physically fit score above average on state assessments in reading and math and miss fewer days of school,” said Stacey D. Stewart, U.S. President of United Way Worldwide. “The bottom line is that kids with access to healthy food options and regular physical activity feel better and perform better in work, school and life, which is why we’re so excited about this new campaign with the NFL.”
Billboards featuring Cecil Shorts III and kids will begin appearing in the Jacksonville market in the fall, and the 2014 football season will bring new opportunities for fans to join United Way and NFL PLAY 60 in making the next generation of youth the most active and healthy. Fans interested in getting involved can register at www.unitedway.org/teamnfl.