UnitedHealthcare and Nebraska 4-H are expanding a successful partnership
called Eat4-Health that helps tackle obesity by promoting healthy eating
and active lifestyles among youth and families.
Bob Meduna, far left, Extension Educator 4-H Youth Development, watches as kids from Ainsworth Elementary School in Brown County, (left to right) Corbin Swanson, Saylen Young, Cameryn Goochey and Jersen Williams create their own healthy smoothies at the Nebraska State Fair on Thursday, Aug. 28, in Grand Island, Neb. The healthy smoothie bikes are part of 4-H and UnitedHealthcare's "Eat4-Health" partnership aimed at tackling obesity by promoting healthy eating and lifestyles among children and families (Photo: Chad Greene).
UnitedHealthcare is providing University of Nebraska Cooperative
Extension, which administers 4-H programs throughout the state, a
$24,000 grant to support youth healthy-living programs. The grant is
being used to purchase pedal-powered blender bikes that will be used for
fun, energetic events where young people can create their own healthy
smoothies through exercise.
The specially made stationary bikes are equipped with a blender
mechanism that makes smoothies when pedaled. The bikes were unveiled at
Nebraska's Largest Classroom during this year's State Fair, where
4-Hers, community leaders and UnitedHealthcare's mascot Dr. Health E.
Hound cheered on by young fairgoers who created a healthy snack in a
The grant, along with the smoothie bikes and other exercise equipment,
will be used to support community events and programs this summer
through spring 2015 in which youth and families can learn about easy
ways to promote healthy lifestyles. Recipe cards, educational
information and other resources will be distributed as part of the
program. The goal is to encourage young people and their families to eat
more nutritious foods and exercise regularly.
University of Nebraska Cooperative Extensions has developed a plan that
provides innovative, hands-on learning and target specific community
needs in the state. Many of these activities support healthy-living
programs led by 4-H that encourage youth and community participation.
"Nebraska 4-H is committed to working with our 4-H youth ambassadors to
share fun, easy tips that encourage our friends and families to make
healthy choices," said Dr. Kathleen Lodl, Associate Dean and State 4-H
Program Administrator. "Our partnership with UnitedHealthcare and its
support for these new pedal-powered bikes are a great way for 4-H'ers to
encourage their peers to stay active and eat healthy."
UnitedHealthcare employees will help organize and host many of these
events, and plan and implement projects that lead to positive,
sustainable change at the community and individual level.
"UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to continue our work
with New York 4-H to help educate young people about healthy lifestyles
and exercise in their daily lives," said Kathy Mallatt, president,
UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Nebraska. "These bikes and
educational resources provide a unique way to deliver these messages in
a positive and meaningful way."
UnitedHealthcare is providing $520,000 to National 4-H Council to
support youth healthy-living programs. In addition to Nebraska, other
state 4-H programs receiving grants include Arizona, Florida, Louisiana,
Mississippi, New York, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. Eat4-Health,
which began in 2011, has already reached more than 210,000 young people
and families across nine states through a positive campaign that has
trained thousands of 4-H teen youth health ambassadors to promote
healthy lifestyles in their communities.
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.
Obesity continues to be at epidemic levels and is one of the
fastest-growing health challenges confronting the nation. The report can
be viewed and downloaded at www.americashealthrankings.org.
About 4-H4-H, the nation's
largest youth development and empowerment organization, cultivates
confident kids who tackle the issues that matter most in their
communities right now. In the United States, 4-H programs empower six
million young people through the 109 land-grant universities and
Cooperative Extension in more than 3,000 local offices serving every
county and parish in the country. Outside the United States,
independent, country-led 4-H organizations empower one million young
people in more than 50 countries. National 4-H Council is the private
sector, non-profit partner of the Cooperative Extension System and 4-H
National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and
Agriculture (NIFA) within the United States Department of Agriculture
(USDA). Learn more about 4-H at www.4-H.org.
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 800,000 physicians
and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities
nationwide. Globally, UnitedHealthcare serves more than 45 million
people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth
Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being
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