Because obesity in America has been labeled a health crisis, the potato industry has joined an intervention program with the goal of “Shape Up Somerville”.
The Centers for Disease Control will work with Tufts University in Massachusetts in taking Somerville, MA, as a typical American city, for the pilot program.
Elementary school children at high risk will participate in a variety of programs designed to change their exercise and eating habits.
The Board is funding the school foodservice portion of the project. Breakfast, lunch and snack menus will receive a nutrition “make-over” to increase fiber, fresh fruit and vegetable consumption.
At the end of the three-year project, the industry will distribute the success of the program to schools around the country.
“It’s rewarding to know we are going to be part of the solution to this problem,” said Jim Tiede of Idaho, chairman of the Domestic Marketing Committee. “Certainly there’s no greater feeling than helping kids.”