Florida 4-H and UnitedHealthcare Launch Partnership Promoting Healthy Living Through Fun, Creative Activities at North Florida

  Florida 4-H and UnitedHealthcare Launch Partnership Promoting Healthy Living
  Through Fun, Creative Activities at North Florida Fair

  *Eat4-Health partnership includes 10 states, with 4-H youth as health
    ambassadors reaching other youth and families with messages to fight
  *UnitedHealthcare mascot Dr. Health E. Hound participates in 4-H Day at the
    North Florida Fair, leading hundreds of attendees in group exercises and
    fitness activities

Business Wire

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- November 12, 2012

Florida 4-H and UnitedHealthcare announced a new partnership to promote
healthy living and empower youth to help fight the nation’s obesity epidemic.

UnitedHealthcare mascot Dr. Health E. Hound joined 4-H youth for a healthy
group exercise at the Nor ...

UnitedHealthcare mascot Dr. Health E. Hound joined 4-H youth for a healthy
group exercise at the North Florida Fair to encourage attendees to stay active
and eat healthy. During the kick-off event, UnitedHealthcare and 4-H
encouraged hundreds of attendees to participate in simple, fun group dance and
fitness activities designed to burn calories and promote health. Florida 4-H
received a $30,000 grant from UnitedHealthcare to promote healthy living as
part of a $300,000 "Eat4-Health" partnership in 10 states between 4-H and
UnitedHealthcare (Photo: Sam Holton /Holton Photography).

The partnership, called Eat4-Health, is activating thousands of 4-H youth
ambassadors 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 Florida.

At the partnership launch in Florida, UnitedHealthcare’s mascot Dr. Health E.
Hound joined 4-H youth, families and community leaders at the North Florida
Fair to encourage attendees to stay active and eat healthy. Dr. Hound and 4-H
youth encouraged hundreds of attendees to participate in simple, fun group
dance and fitness activities designed to burn calories and promote health.

Florida 4-H leadership and youth also participated in an official partnership
announcement, where UnitedHealthcare presented a $30,000 check to Florida 4-H
to launch the program. The partnership is being administered by the University
of Florida Extension Service, which provides 4-H programs to all counties in
the state.

Eat4-Health builds on UnitedHealthcare’s successful partnership with National
4-H Council that began last year in Florida, Mississippi and Texas. The
campaign is expanding to Arizona, Louisiana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South
Carolina, Tennessee and New York. Each state 4-H organization is receiving a
$30,000 grant funded by UnitedHealthcare to support healthy-living programs,
events and other activities administered by 4-H that encourage young people
and their families to eat more nutritious foods and exercise regularly.

“Florida 4-H is proud to join with UnitedHealthcare again this year to build
on our partnership and empower youth to live healthier,” said Dr. Keith Diem,
Florida 4-H Program Leader. “4-H youth ambassadors are eager to work with
UnitedHealthcare to help forge real solutions to the serious challenge of
obesity. Today’s activities are just one example of the creativity and
excitement 4-H youth are bringing to this campaign.”

“The Eat4-Health program shows that our youth are leading the way to help
solve the nation’s obesity problem. It’s exciting to see UnitedHealthcare and
4-H youth working together to make a difference in the lives of so many
families in Florida,” said Kathleen Crampton, president of UnitedHealthcare
Community Plan of Florida. “UnitedHealthcare and 4-H look forward to
harnessing the energy and excitement of 4-H youth to promote healthy living.”

Participating 4-H state programs receiving a grant will develop action plans
that provide innovative, hands-on learning approaches that target specific
community needs in their state. Many of these activities will support
healthy-living 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 will team up with 4-H at many of these events,
assisting with planning and executing projects that lead to positive,
sustainable change at the community and individual level.

As part of the Eat4-Health campaign, each state is organizing a Youth
Summit/Conference to train 4-H youth ambassadors to implement the programs and
help reach the goals in each state. The summits will provide the venue where
participants will learn more about nutrition, health and fitness, obtain
information on promoting health within their communities, and gain new tools
for participating in multisession educational trainings and one-time community
activities and events. This teen leadership experience will also serve as a
launch to a Teen Ambassadors pledge and prepare 4-H’ers to use their increased
healthy-living knowledge and skills to make an impact in their own

Online and printed educational materials will enable participants to learn and
commit to making healthier choices. To encourage participation, the campaign
will provide simple tips for healthy choices when food shopping, preparing
home meals and school lunches, when out with friends or at special occasions.

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.

In 2011 the 4-H/UnitedHealthcare partnership reached more than 40,000 youth
and families in three states through hundreds of community events and
activities that included distributing positive messages about nutrition and
wellness. This was accomplished in creative venues such as healthy-cooking
demonstrations, fitness camps, youth forums and community family days.These
events were designed to empower 4-H youth in the targeted states to help
educate their families and people in their communities about the importance of
healthy living through more nutritious diets and increased physical activity
in their daily lives.The program targeted communities in Florida, Mississippi
and Texas with the greatest need for education, outreach and resources.

About Florida 4‐H: Founded in 1909, the Florida 4-H Youth Development Program
works with more than 230,000 rural, suburban and urban youth ages 5-18 and is
active in all 67 counties, and with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The 4-H
program is the youth development program of the Florida Cooperative Extension
Service (CES) which is headquartered in Gainesville within UF’s IFAS. The CES
is funded by a partnership between federal, state and county government
agencies. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal
Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational
information, and other services only to individuals and institutions that
function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion,
age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin,
political opinions, or affiliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture,
Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A&M
University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners
Cooperating. For more information about Florida 4-H, visit www.florida4h.org.

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 more than 650,000 physicians and
care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves
more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group
(NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:



Molly McMillen, 952-931-6029
University of Florida Extension
Shaumond Scott, 352-846-0996
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