NBA and NFL – It's time for all of us to play

For us sports fans, we are entering a weekend that is ripe for sitting around and doing little, other than eating. Tons of college basketball and then the NFL conference championships – Go JETS!!! – plus a variety of other programs. Very easy to kick back and watch sports, instead of play sports. But here’s hope that we don’t take the easy way out.

Over the past week, the sports properties we spend a lot of time watching are promoting this “not easy” approach for kids, and really for all of us.


The USDA announced that it is joining the NFL and National Dairy Council’s Fuel Up to Play 60 anti-obesity campaign.

According to the press release from Jan. 15, the campaign is being funded with an initial private sector financial commitment of $250 million over five years by America’s Dairy Farmers.  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell offered the following comment:

“The National Football League is strongly committed to helping the next generation of youth achieve healthier lifestyles. In 2007, we launched NFL PLAY 60 to encourage kids to get active and play 60 minutes a day. We are excited that Fuel Up to Play 60 extends that message to include healthy eating. Through Fuel Up to Play 60, we want young people to discover that healthy habits can be both fun and empowering.”


Hopefully by extension, programs like the one above being promoted by the NFL, have an impact on the adult population, who are dealing with their own obesity epidemic. Parents and other adults are role models who habits are mimicked.

With this idea in mind, the NBA has begun a program hoping to get everyone fit. From January 4-11, the NBA held its first-ever NBA Fit Week. NBA teams and players, along with the WNBA and NBDL, participated in various grassroots programs and events, and were supported by special oncourt apparel, and in-arena and online programming, all designed to inspire kids and families across the country to live active, healthy lives.

“Through the NBA FIT Week, the league, our teams and players are starting the New Year with a special weeklong celebration emphasizing the importance of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle,” said NBA Executive Vice President of Social Responsibility and Player Programs Kathleen Behrens.  “This week is key to the NBA FIT goal of getting one million kids, adults, and families to PLEDGE NBA FIT and commit to lead more active, healthy lives in 2010.”

To learn more about the NBA FIT program, log on to