Florida 4-H and UnitedHealthcare Bring Together 200 Youth and Adult Leaders From 31 Counties For Statewide Teen Health Summit

  Florida 4-H and UnitedHealthcare Bring Together 200 Youth and Adult Leaders
  From 31 Counties For Statewide Teen Health Summit

  *“Teen Healthy Lifestyles Summit” focused on educating youth and
    communities in Florida about healthy eating, learning activities and fun
    fitness
  *Event part of “Eat4-Health” partnership between National 4-H Council and
    UnitedHealthcare, aimed at activating thousands of youth nationwide to
    help fight obesity

Business Wire

OCALA, Fla. -- January 21, 2013

Florida 4-H and UnitedHealthcare hosted nearly 200 youth and adult leaders
this weekend as part of a statewide teen health summit designed to promote
healthy lifestyles through better food choices, fitness and other hands-on
learning activities.

At 4-H Camp Ocala 4-H Youth from Lake County participate in "Teen Healthy
Lifestyles Summit" hosted ...

At 4-H Camp Ocala 4-H Youth from Lake County participate in "Teen Healthy
Lifestyles Summit" hosted by Florida 4-H and UnitedHealthcare. The interactive
discussions were aimed to help fight the nation's obesity epidemic though
innovative thinking, learning and lifestyle decisions. (left to right)
Isabella Valencia from Tavares; Daphne Yearwood from Mt. Dora; Joshua Guy from
Eustis; Angelina Carnecchia from Lady Lake; Lauren Valencia from Tavares and
Esther White from Fruitland Park participate in a discussion to help create a
campaign that will encourage their friend and families to drink more water.
(photo: Dawn McKinstry/ Dawn McKinstry Photography)

The “Teen Healthy Lifestyles Summit” took place at 4-H Camp Ocala and included
group activities, educational sessions and interactive discussions aimed at
helping fight the nation’s obesity epidemic through innovative thinking,
learning and lifestyle decision-making. 4-H youth from 31 counties and three
military bases participated in the weekend events, which focused on sharing
the importance of healthy living and enabling youth to adopt healthy habits,
and inspiring youth to learn healthy behaviors and to share them with their
families and theircommunities.

The summit 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 from 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 Florida, which received a
$30,000 grant through the University of Florida Extension Service, which
provides 4-H programs to all counties in the state.

“This summit is an excellent opportunity to bring together youth to really
engage them in addressing the obesity epidemic through the eyes and innovative
thinking that young people bring to the discussion,” said Dr. Keith Diem,
Florida 4-H Program Leader. “They know best about their lifestyles and needs,
so engaging them in solutions is a critical element to addressing obesity
among youth and their families.”

“Eat4-Health demonstrates how our youth are leading the way to help solve the
nation’s obesity problem,” said Kathleen Crampton, president of
UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Florida. “UnitedHealthcare shares in the
excitement of these youth and Florida 4-H in harnessing the energy from this
summit to promote healthy living.”

Several health experts and community leaders participated in the summit,
including Karla Shelnut, Ph.D., Foods and Nutrition Assistant Professor at the
University of Florida and a state leader in advancing obesity prevention among
children, adolescents and young adults. UnitedHealthcare representatives,
along with 4-H youth and adult leaders, helped facilitate learning
discussions, nutrition training, cooking demonstrations and physical
activities.

Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam praised the summit and
it’s goals saying, “Not only has 4-H continued to make our youth better
citizens over the years, the organization has successfully challenged itself
to meet the changing needs of the communities it serves. This is an important
partnership and I applaud the work being done by Florida 4-H members and its
industry partners to help tackle obesity.”

Through Eat4-Health, Florida 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 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 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.

As part of Eat4-Health, each participating state is organizing a youth summit
to train 4-H youth ambassadors to implement the programs and help reach the
goals in their state. The summits are designed to provide a venue where
participants learn more about nutrition, health and fitness, obtain
information on promoting health within their communities, and gain new tools
for participating in educational trainings and community activities. Florida
is the first state to hold its summit as part of the UnitedHealthcare grant.

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. The Florida 4-H Youth Development Program works with more than
230,000 rural, suburban and urban youth ages 5-18 and is available in all 67
counties and 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. 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 Florida 4‐H

The Florida 4-H program is the statewide youth development program of the
University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS).
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. More information
is available at  http://florida4h.org/about/policies/.

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 Fortune50
health and well-being company.

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Contact:

UnitedHealthcare
Molly McMillen, 952-931-6029
or
University of Florida, IFAS Extension
Shaumond Scott, 352-294-2911
Florida 4-H Youth Development Program
 
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