The White House announced Thursday it will work with all the major American sports leagues in unique new partnerships meant to underscore the importance of physical activity and proper nutrition.
The new partnerships are a part of the White House’s Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities, which was launched in March 2023. The goal of the challenge, according to the White House, is to “end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030.” The White House is also looking to reduce “diet-related diseases” by the same 2030 deadline.
Joining the White House are the NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, MLS, PGA Tour and NWSL, along with multiple players’ unions. Each league and union announced new commitments toward engaging the country’s children in league- and union-affiliated activities to promote exercise and better nutrition.
Second gentleman Douglas Emhoff, in a call with reporters, pointed toward the NFL as an example. The league will bolster its current PLAY 60 platform to emphasize the importance of kids getting 60 minutes of physical activity a day.
Play 60 launched in 2006, according to the NFL, and in the past several years has partnered with a number of different organizations including the American Heart Association, National Dairy Council, Special Olympics, Shriners Hospitals for Children, St. Jude and United Way.
The NBA holds their All-Star weekend from February 16 to the 18 in Indianapolis and will plan on expanding programs already planned for the weekend. The NBA, alongside the WNBA, will also develop more robust programming and build on their efforts to combat hunger. In announcing this specific partnership, Emhoff added that he will be attending the All-Star weekend festivities.
Other notable partners include MLS, which will work with their stadiums to expand “food recovery” and work to donate more meals to teams’ local communities. The National Hockey League Players’ Association will also hold additional events this year to collect equipment to donate to local communities.
In total, 14 sports leagues and players’ associations signed agreements with the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition, according to the White House.
One of the co-chairs of that council, which “engages, educates, and empowers all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition,” according to the Department of Health and Human Services website, is chef José Andrés.
While announcing the new partnerships, Andrés stressed the importance of including more substantial nutritional programming in government policy.
“Everyone should be integrating food into every one of our decisions, our actions, and yes, also our policies,” Andrés added.
The White House added that there will be more partnerships and commitments announced in the next few weeks.
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