McNabb Encourages D.C. Area Communities to Fight Chronic Diseases: 'We Can Beat This!'
The Washington Redskins and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are teaming up with Redskins quarterback and health advocate Donovan McNabb to help tackle the nation's childhood obesity epidemic.
As the newly appointed 2010 Redskins Health Ambassador, McNabb will work side by side with Washington, D.C. youth to demonstrate fun and easy ways to make exercise part of their daily lives.
Beating childhood obesity is a top priority on the local and national agenda, gaining momentum through the Redskins commitment to the Play 60 movement for an active generation and first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign.
Washington, D.C., has one of the highest childhood obesity rates in the nation, which has long-term implications since obesity is linked to chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer.
"We can beat this!" McNabb said. "I'm so excited to teach kids and their parents how exercising for 60 minutes a day will keep them healthy and help prevent chronic diseases. Football has always motivated me to stay active, fit and healthy, and I want to motivate kids to find an activity that will help them do the same.
"Seeing the effect chronic disease has had on my father's life has pushed me to help kids take up healthy habits and provide them with the right tools for a healthier future. Like I tell my father: together, we can beat this."
For the second consecutive year, the Redskins and GlaxoSmithKline, through its GSK Healthy Communities® program, have united to promote health and wellness programs that can combat the effects of chronic diseases.
To bring greater attention to National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, McNabb and the Redskins will lead a series of youth fitness events throughout the area in September, including:
-- Recess by the River (Sept. 14), a program coordinated by the American Heart Association and the D.C. Parks & Recreation, supported by CareFirst, the Redskins and GlaxoSmithKline, that teaches children the importance of exercising and other positive, long-lasting behavioral changes affecting their health. More than 1,000 children from D.C. Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8 currently participate in this campaign.
-- Redskins "Play 60" at FedExField (Sept. 21), an event made possible by the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and GlaxoSmithKline that will bring together more than 1,000 kids from around Washington, D.C. to teach them that exercising and staying active is fun and good for their health. McNabb, joined by teammates and the Redskins Cheerleaders, will lead more than 1,000 kids through an interactive group fitness session to highlight the importance of daily exercise and healthy food choices and to establish the Guinness World Record for the "largest virtual exercise lesson."
"On the field, Donovan McNabb is a fierce competitor and exceptional leader, and we are proud to work with him off the field to help kids stay healthy," said Jack Bailey, Senior VP, GlaxoSmithKline."GlaxoSmithKline and the Washington Redskins are committed to beating chronic diseases and improving the health of our nation through programs focused on wellness that empower Americans to prevent chronic diseases by making healthy decisions like eating better, increasing physical activity and quitting smoking."
The Redskins and GlaxoSmithKline believe that even small steps toward disease prevention and management of chronic diseases – in addition to medical research – can have a big impact on the health of Americans and reducing U.S. health care costs.
For more information about this program, please visit www.donovansplaybook.com.