|[December 07, 2013]
Mississippi 4-H Youth and UnitedHealthcare Host Family Fun and Fitness Day to Promote Healthy Lifestyles
JACKSON, Miss. --(Business Wire)--
UnitedHealthcare and Mississippi 4-H youth hosted a Family Fun and
Fitness Day for Jackson-area families to promote healthy eating and
exercise at the Mississippi Basketball & Athletics facility.
Cheered on by Dr. Health E. Hound and Mississippi 4-H program leader Manola Erby, nine year old Joseph Walker pedals to create a healthy smoothie using a "bike blender." The Family Fun and Fitness event was part of the UnitedHealthcare Mississippi 4-H "Eat4-Health" partnership, which aims to reduce obesity rates among young people and families through youth and community-based education and awareness programs. The activities at the Family Fun & Fitness Day are part of a series of trainings and events made possible by a $30,000 grant provided by UnitedHealthcare to Alcorn State University Extension Program, which administers 4-H programs to all counties in the state. (Photo: Business Wire)
The event was part of the UnitedHealthcare Mississippi 4-H "Eat4-Health"
partnership, now in its third year, which aims to reduce obesity rates
among young people and families in the state through youth and
community-based education and awareness programs.
At today's event, UnitedHealthcare's mascot Dr. Health E. Hound joined
Jackson-area youth, their families, 4-H youth and community leaders,
including Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, for fun, healthy activities such
as relay races, fitness games, dance routines and basketball
shoot-arounds. There were also hands-on cooking demonstrations,
healthy-smoothie competitions with a "blender bike," nutrition
information and free Body Mass Index (BMI) health screenings.
"This is an innovative program, and I applaud the work by
UnitedHealthcare Community Plan and 4-H to help raise awareness and
educate our youth and their families about their health," said Mayor
Lumumba. "They have encouraged youth in a fun, positive way to become
more engaged in their eating habits and physical activities."
The activities are part of a series of trainings and events made
possible by a $30,000 grant provided by UnitedHealthcare to Alcorn State
University Extension Program, which administers 4-H programs to all
counties in the state. Participating youth are encouraged to share their
experiences within their communities and promote healthy living with
their friendsand families.
"We're pleased to see our partnership with UnitedHealthcare Community
Plan grow and reach new audiences here in Mississippi," said Manola
Erby, a program leader for 4-H. "Helping youth make better choices and
staying healthy is at the core of 4-H values, and in the past three
years we have reached thousands of youth with these positive messages
thanks to the support of UnitedHealthcare."
"UnitedHealthcare Community Plan is grateful for the opportunity to
continue our partnership with Alcorn State and Mississippi 4-H," said
Jocelyn Carter, president of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of
Mississippi. "These types of events and learning programs administered
by 4-H enable us to provide youth and their families with important
resources and tools to live healthier lives."
Mississippi 4-H is one of nine 4-H programs around the country receiving
a grant from UnitedHealthcare in 2013 as part of the Eat4-Health
partnership. Each 4-H program uses the funding to provide innovative,
hands-on learning approaches to support healthy-living programs through
youth education and community awareness. The goals are accomplished
through events such as health fairs, cooking demonstrations,
after-school programs, workshops and educational forums, among others.
UnitedHealthcare employees team up with 4-H at many of these events and
assist with the planning or execution of projects that lead to positive,
sustainable change at the community and individual level.
The Mississippi Eat4-Health partnership, administered by Alcorn State
University, builds on UnitedHealthcare's successful partnership with
National 4-H Council that began in 2011. Through the national
partnership, UnitedHealthcare has provided more than $1.3 million to
support healthy-living programs, events and other activities
administered by 4-H that encourage young people and their families to
eat more nutritious foods and lead more active lifestyles that include
fun and regular exercise.
According to America's Health Rankings®, an annual comprehensive
assessment of the nation's health on a state-by-state basis, obesity is
a leading risk factor for diabetes, heart disease and many cancers.
Mississippi is ranked 49th in the nation, with nearly 35
percent of the population considered obese. Obesity continues to be one
of the fastest-growing health challenges in the nation.
About Mississippi 4-H
4-H is a community of six million young people across America learning
leadership, citizenship, and life skills. Mississippi 4-H is proud to
offer programs and growth opportunities that put the heads, hearts,
hands and health of Mississippi's youth to work learning and applying
the essential elements of the 4-H program: belonging, mastery,
independence and generosity. The 4-H Youth program strives to improve
the quality of life for Mississippi youth by developing youth potential
and by providing hands-on educational programs. Program priorities
identified include leadership development, life skills training,
developing positive self-esteem, and empowering volunteers. Programs are
delivered through local county Extension offices to volunteer leaders.
Learn more about Mississippi 4-H at www.mississippi4-h.org
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live
healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting
consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships
with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health
benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid
beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 780,000 physicians
and care professionals and 5,900 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare
serves more than 40 million people and is one of the businesses of
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and
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Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20131207005043/en/
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