Healthy Zone School Recognition Program® Expands to Serve 166 North Texas Schools and 110,000 Students in Fighting Childhood Obesity

DALLAS, TX (October 5, 2017)

A partnership between United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and The Cooper Institute® developed to engage students to achieve better health and fitness, the Healthy Zone School Recognition Program is expanding to serve 166 North Texas schools this year. Championed by Dallas Cowboys Legend and United Way Annual Campaign Chairman Troy Aikman, the initiative has increased its reach to serve 110,000 local students since its inception in 2011.

“The Healthy Zone School program is the start of a great success story in overcoming childhood obesity, one of the most pressing health issues of our time,” said Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton President and CEO, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “Together, we’re making tremendous strides in creating, sustaining and scaling healthy school environments to grow the next generation of healthier, high-achieving students.”

The Healthy Zone School program supplies schools in need with approximately $7,000 in funding for physical education equipment, health promotions and parent education tools to implement healthy practices on their campuses. The program also recognizes schools for trendsetting work in encouraging health and wellness, both on campus and in the surrounding community. Schools are selected through a competitive application process. The program is open to all public, private, and charter schools in Dallas, Rockwall, Collin, and southern Denton counties.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, currently one in three children is considered overweight or obese, a statistic that has nearly tripled in the last decade. Outcomes demonstrate the Healthy Zone School program is working to turn that tide. FitnessGram® results show 22% of students enrolled in the program improved their body composition (BMI), and 33% of students improved their aerobic capacity during their first year.

“The obesity epidemic we have seen in children for the past two decades has fueled unprecedented medical problems, particularly adult onset diabetes,” said Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, known as the ‘father of aerobics’ and founder of The Cooper Institute. “The Healthy Zone School program is proactively combatting the trend, providing kids with better access to physical activity to help improve academic performance and instill healthy lifelong habits.”

Schools from the following districts were selected for the 2017-2018 Healthy Zone School Recognition Program: Allen ISD, Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, Celina ISD, Dallas ISD, DeSoto ISD, Frisco ISD, Garland ISD, Lovejoy ISD, McKinney ISD, Mesquite ISD, Plano ISD, Richardson ISD, Rockwall ISD, Wylie ISD and five Private/Charter schools in the area.
For more information about the Healthy Zone School Recognition Program, or to find out how your school may become a Healthy Zone School, visit www.HealthyZoneSchool.org.

To view the current list of 2018 Healthy Zone Schools, Click Here.

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About United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is a community-based non-profit organization that Treats 360 degrees of Need™unite. For over 90 years, we have brought people and resources together to fight complex social problems by surrounding North Texas with efficient, impactful solutions. Since 2011, we’ve invested more than $147M in 200+ local programs that tackle issues across health, education and income; the essential components of a thriving community. We encourage North Texans to get involved by giving, volunteering or advocating and helping lift up those in need now and in the future. United, we help those who want to do good, do great. Learn more at UnitedWayDallas.org.