Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Got Milk? Campaign Will Recognize and Reward Moms for Their Role as the Family's Chief Health Officer

$100,000 'Mom Paycheck' Provided for Successfully Tackling This Valuable Part of Her Job

MIAMI, May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Mothers have always had a lot on their plates -- from carpool queen to coach, counselor to chef. It's all been part of a day's work. However, with the growing concerns over childhood obesity and inadequate nutrition, many moms have taken on yet another important role -- that of Chief Health Officer for the family.

In most households, moms are the nutritional gatekeeper and largely determine what foods and beverages their families consume. This "job description" has become increasingly important with the country's rising rate of childhood obesity, which has tripled in the last 30 years. To recognize this vital role, America's milk processors are joining forces with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Project M.O.M. to salute moms nationwide for helping to keep their families healthy and fit.

Just in time for Mother's Day, moms can win a reward they so richly deserve -- a $100,000 paycheck for serving as Chief Health Officer. Details about the contest are available at whymilk.com or by texting "PAYDAY" to "75308" on a mobile phone (before June 11) to find out how to enter.

"As the nutritional gatekeeper, mom has a huge day-by-day influence on her family's nutrition, and she may not realize her pivotal role in combating the country's obesity crisis," says Dr. Brian Wansink, executive director of the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. "Her actions can make a tremendous impact on the health of her family." In fact, Wansink calls it the "72 percent solution," because his research shows that moms influence about 72 percent of what children eat and drink.

One small change like serving lowfat or fat free milk instead of sugary soft drinks and fruit drinks can make a big difference in the health and weight of children and teens. Studies show that children who drink milk instead of sugar-sweetened drinks tend to be leaner and have better quality diets that are richer in essential nutrients -- particularly calcium, which is so vital for growing children.

Mom as Role Model

"Now more than ever before, moms need to lead by example and look for ways to make better choices for themselves and their families," said pediatrician Frank R. Greer, MD, chairman of the AAP Committee on Nutrition. "It's important to help kids stay physically active and offer nutritious foods and beverages, like milk, to avoid unhealthy weight gain and minimize future health risks. Moms are one of the most powerful forces that can influence the weight and eating habits of America's children."

Actress and mom Marg Helgenberger, from the hit CBS television series "CSI," will be sporting a milk mustache in the newest got milk? ad, debuting this month in Shape magazine. You can also find Marg's mustached mug in grocery store dairy cases throughout the country saluting mom as Chief Health Officer and promoting the availability of the $100,000 "mom paycheck." She says, "You're in charge of keeping your family healthy. It's time you got paid for it. Studies suggest that drinking three glasses of lowfat or fat free milk each day can help maintain a healthy weight."

Coast-to-Coast Search for America's Chief Health Officer

To help spread the word, the got milk? campaign is hitting the road to search for hometown Chief Health Officers. From May to September, Milk Mustache Mobiles will travel to 75 cities throughout the country hosting free, local events to celebrate mom and her valuable role as the family's nutritional decision maker. At each local stop during the tour, families can pose for their own milk mustache photo, sample lowfat and fat free milk from local processors and "mom-inate" a mom they know to win America's Chief Health Officer. The national winner will be featured in her own Milk Mustache ad.

For more information about the Chief Health Officer program and for
details on how to win the $100,000 salary, visit whymilk.com.

About Milk

The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), Washington, D.C., is funded by the nation's milk processors, who are committed to increasing fluid milk consumption. The MilkPEP Board runs the national Milk Mustache "got milk?" Campaign, a multi-faceted campaign designed to educate consumers about the health benefits of milk. For more information, go to http://www.whymilk.com. The tagline "got milk?"(R) was created for the California Milk Processor Board by Goodby Silverstein & Partners and is licensed by the national milk processor and dairy producer groups.

About USDA

The USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) works to improve the health and well-being of Americans by developing and promoting dietary guidance that links scientific research to the nutrition needs of consumers. CNPP is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. Project M.O.M (Mothers & Others & MyPyramid) is a multi-pronged initiative by CNPP aimed at transforming the way the American family eats. It involves government, industry, educators, consumers and the media.

About AAP

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians and pediatric medical sub specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

www.whymilk.com

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