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Nebraska 4-H and UnitedHealthcare Encourage Nebraska Youth to Promote Healthy Eating Through Video and Poster Contest

Event part of “Eat4-Health” partnership between National 4-H Council and UnitedHealthcare, aimed at activating thousands of youth nationwide to help fight obesity

OMAHA, Neb. (Feb. 9, 2013)– Nebraska 4-H and UnitedHealthcare are inviting young people to participate in a video and poster contest as part of a partnership designed to promote healthy lifestyles through better food choices, fitness and other hands-on learning activities.

The video and poster contest will take place on Saturday, Feb. 9, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Joyce Mammel Assembly Hall at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, 2825 Y St. in Omaha. The contest is open to all youth, and the general public is invited to view the entries. All video and poster entries must be about one of three health topics: the impact of fast foods on obesity; school lunch programs - the pros and cons, or; addressing self-esteem issues in youth. Prizes will be awarded for the top five qualifiers. Young people interested in participating and receiving additional guidelines and information can email Ashlie Smith (Nebraska 4-H) at smithashlie14@yahoo.com.

The event will also feature group fitness activities and interactive educational presentations on healthy living aimed at helping fight the nation’s obesity epidemic through innovative thinking, learning and lifestyle decisionmaking.

UnitedHealthcare’s mascot Dr. Health E. Hound, along with UnitedHealthcare employees, will be on hand to inspire youth to learn healthy behaviors and share them with their families and communities.

The video and poster contest is part of the ongoing partnership between National 4-H Council and UnitedHealthcare called Eat4-Health. Eat4-Health is activating thousands of 4-H youth ambassadors around the country to make healthy choices for themselves and encourage friends, families and people in their communities to make positive changes through training, creative programs and educational events. It currently spans 10 states, including Nebraska, which received a $30,000 grant through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Service, which provides 4-H programs to all 93 counties in the state.

“This video and poster contest is an excellent opportunity to engage youth in a creative way to address the obesity epidemic through the eyes and innovative thinking that young people bring to the discussion,” said Kathleen Lodl, 4-H Program Administrator and Associate Dean at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “They know best about their own lifestyles and needs, so engaging them in solutions is an important element to addressing obesity among youth and their families.”

“The Eat4-Health partnership demonstrates how youth here in Nebraska are helping lead the way in solving the nation’s obesity problem,” said Kathy Mallatt, President of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Nebraska.

“UnitedHealthcare shares in the excitement of Nebraska 4-H and the youth participating in this contest and harnessing that energy to promote healthy living.” Through Eat4-Health, Nebraska 4-H has developed an action plan to provide innovative, hands-on learning approaches that target specific community needs in the state. Many of these activities are supporting healthyliving programs led by 4-H that encourage youth and community participation through events such as health fairs, cooking demonstrations, after-school programs, workshops and educational forums, among others.

UnitedHealthcare employees are teaming up with 4-H at many of these events, assisting with planning and executing projects that lead to positive, sustainable change at the individual and community levels.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity among children and adolescents has almost tripled since 1980, with nearly one in every three children being overweight or obese.

Children from low-income and low-education households are three-times more likely to be obese. America’s Health Rankings®, an annual comprehensive assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state basis, indicates that obesity is a leading risk factor for diabetes, heart disease and many cancers. The estimated economic cost of obesity is $270 billion per year.

4-H reaches 6 million youth each year, 2.5 million of whom participate in healthy-living programs that promote nutrition, wellness and physical activities. UnitedHealthcare Community & State serves more than 2.5 million children in 25 states and the District of Columbia. 4-H and UnitedHealthcare share connections with many of the same public sector and community organizations, including state and county governments and school districts.

About Nebraska 4-H

4-H is a community of six million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills.

National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within USDA. In Nebraska, 4-H is provided through University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension in cooperation with county governing boards, the University of Nebraska and USDA. UNL Extension staff and volunteers work together to deliver the county’s 4-H program.

In Nebraska, 4-H reaches approximately one-third of our state’s youth. Learn more at www.4h.unl.edu.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare 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 780,000 physicians and other health care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.


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