As part of its national response to a recent report that again this year, obesity rates climbed in 31 states across the U.S., today America On the Move Foundation(R) (AOMF) and YMCA of the USAs YMCA Activate America(R) initiative kicked off Steptember 2007 -- a national, month-long celebration highlighting the benefits of healthy, active living.




    AOMs research-based programs encourage people to move more and eat smart by making two small daily changes:


    • Take 2,000 more steps (about 1 mile)
    • Eat 100 fewer calories (about a tablespoon of butter)


    Again this year, 31 states reported obesity rates have climbed, said James O. Hill, Ph.D., AOMF co-founder and professor of pediatrics and medicine at the University of Colorado and HealthSciencesCenter. Obesity is a public health crisis that AOM is determined to help solve -- with simple steps. Our research proves that making small, manageable changes can help control weight and overall health.




    Throughout the month of September, Americans can visit to participate in the Steptember campaign. By pledging to make two small changes each day, Americans are eligible for a chance to win prizes. Each day, one online participant will win an iPod shuffle. Additionally, at the end of the month, one lucky participant will win a $500 shopping spree at DICKs Sporting Goods.




    Throughout the month of September, AOM activities include:


    • AOM Week with the YMCA. From Sept. 22 to 27, more than 1,500 YMCAs across the country will participate in AOM Week with the YMCA and host activities that inspire individuals and families to take small steps and get active.
    • Community Involvement. In addition to widespread participation from YMCAs nationwide, thousands of existing AOM organizations (worksites, faith-based organizations, community groups, etc.) will host 2,000-step activities.
    • New Data about Healthy Living. AOM will announce the results of a national poll with new information and trends about the obesity epidemic and healthy lifestyles.


    As YMCAs nationwide expand their efforts to encourage healthier lifestyles, we are excited to join AOM in celebrating Steptember through America On the Move Week with the YMCA, said Neil Nicoll, president and CEO of YMCA of the USA. Our nations health crisis is the defining issue of this generation and the next, and through YMCA Activate America we are reaching out to engage all people who seek well-being of spirit, mind and body. The small-changes message fits well with our efforts, and we look forward to sharing it with the thousands of communities and millions of people that YMCAs serve.



    PepsiCo, one of the world's largest food and beverage companies, is committed to providing industry leadership in the health and wellness arena. PepsiCo and its Smart Spot products are supporting this effort as a national sponsor of YMCA Activate America and the National Presenting Sponsor of America On the Move. PepsiCo launched the Smart Spot symbol, the first-of-its-kind designation that makes it easier for consumers to identify PepsiCo products that can contribute to healthier lifestyles. Products that feature the Smart Spot symbol meet established nutrition criteria based on authoritative statements from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and theNational Academy of Sciences. The Smart Spot logo appears on more than 300 products across all of PepsiCo's brands including Tropicana, Aquafina, Gatorade, Baked! Lay's, Quaker Oats and Diet Pepsi among others.


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