August 29, 2012
Play4Health Media Portal
Jack Cox, Sanofi
Senior Director, U.S. Public Affairs and Media Relations
Play4Health™ Program Overview
Launching in the summer of 2012, Play4Health™ is a multi-city, multi-year chronic disease prevention initiative that seeks to educate and engage children, their influencers and communities on prevention and the risks of chronic disease, and to foster a healthy, active lifestyle.
The rising levels of obesity among both adults and children signal the need to adopt effective strategies to reverse current obesity trends to prevent chronic diseases such as type-2 diabetes and heart disease. The concern is not only that young people already overweight or obese are likely to remain so throughout adulthood with heightened risks to health, but that these youngsters are already developing an adult disease like type-2 diabetes.
Targeted at five markets in the southeast US, the program will take place at Minor League Baseball (MiLB™) ballparks and includes an on-field, interactive fitness field-day experience that encourages the “triple play” for prevention: exercise, nutrition and healthy behaviors. Each Play4Health event will be followed by an evening baseball game where children, friends and family can put to use the practical health and nutrition tips they learned at the event to “strikeout’” chronic disease.
The Play4Health physical activity platform was created by celebrity health and wellness expert, Rafy Oquendo. The larger Play4Health program initiative is sponsored by Sanofi US, specifically its Center for Chronic Disease Prevention & Wellness group, in collaboration with Rafy Oquendo’s All Star Training Center, MiLB and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The program’s goal is to establish the foundation for lifelong wellness that combines physical activity, exercise habits, and good nutrition, which will result in living a healthier, more active lifestyle.
• In a population-based sample of 6 to 18-year-olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
• In 2008, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
• The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends those age 6–18 years participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily.
• Regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, helps control weight, reduces anxiety and stress, increases self-esteem, and may improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Department of Health and Human Services