Checkoff - Led Children's Health Priorities Gain Momentum

March 2013 Dairy Checkoff Update

Producers' longtime commitment to children's health and wellness issues are paying off, prompting key thought leaders to recognize and support the value of nutrition and physical activity – efforts that help drive dairy sales.DMI logo

Two significant examples last week include:
• The Wellness Impact, a research summary report, shows that physical activity and improved nutrition – cornerstones of the checkoff-created Fuel Up to Play 60 program – help improve students' academic performance. This research emphasizes the importance of breakfast and was made possible because of support from the dairy checkoff. It has been shared with thought leaders to help keep dairy high on the healthy food radar.

• The GENYOUth Foundation and its checkoff-created Fuel Up to Play 60 program was chosen by first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative to be part of the new Let's Move! Active Schools program.

The Wellness Impact: Enhancing Academic Success Through Healthy School Environment report highlights that students who eat breakfast perform better on standardized tests for reading, math and spelling than those who skip breakfast. School breakfast represents at least one daily serving of dairy and potentially two.

Proven school wellness programs such as Fuel Up to Play 60 empower students to make positive changes, including consuming a healthy breakfast featuring dairy.

Schools remain an ideal place to influence the dietary habits of students, who spend more than 2,000 hours in school each year. And what's good for children's nutrition is good for dairy.

The research was released March 4 by the producer-created National Dairy Council, The GENYOUth Foundation, American College of Sports Medicine and the American School Health Association.

More information about the report can be found here.

North Dakota producer Jerry Messer, left, is joined by National Dairy Council and
GENYOUth staff at the Let's Move! Active Schools event in Chicago on Feb. 28.
Messer serves as chairman of the National Dairy Council, which was founded
by dairy producers in 1915.

Let's Move! Active Schools provides simple steps and tools to help schools create active environments where students receive 60 minutes of physical activity throughout the day, as recommended in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

The program, launched Feb. 28, is conducted in collaboration with organizations that demonstrate leadership, commitment and impact in developing healthier school environments. Let's Move! Active Schools recognizes Fuel Up to Play 60 as an effective program to improve children's health and wellness in schools.

Fuel Up to Play 60, whose goals are supported by U.S. Department of Agriculture, is active in more than 73,000 schools, making it the country's largest in-school health and wellness program.

FUTP 60 encourages youth to consume nutrient-dense foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Students take action for their health by implementing long-term, positive changes for themselves and their schools.

More information about Let's Move! Active Schools can be found here.

To learn more about producer-funded checkoff programs, visit