September 25, 2006

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American Advertising Federation Teams Up With PE4life to Fight Childhood Obesity

PE4life's Exemplary Physical Education Programs Build Healthier, More Active Schoolchildren


WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Advertising Federation, the national advertising trade association representing advertisers, media companies and agencies, and PE4life, the nation's leading advocate for quality health-and-fitness-based physical education programs, have joined forces to increase awareness of the growing childhood obesity problem in the United States and to multiply the number of children living an active, healthy lifestyle.

The PE4life approach to physical education—school-based daily physical education programs that focus on lifetime physical activity, fitness and wellness—is working. For example, students at PE4life Academies are scoring consistently higher than the norm on standardized fitness assessments versus their peers. In two critical categories, "aerobic capacity" and "body composition," the PE4life students' scores have been significantly higher than their peers in non-PE4life physical education programs.

"We're excited to be partners with an organization like PE4Life that inspires an active, healthy lifestyle through physical education in schools. We look forward to leveraging the talents of the AAF organization and its 50,000 members to promote this positive message," said Andy Jung, chairman, AAF.

AAF's Ad 2 members are assisting PE4Life by developing marketing plans to promote PE4Life programs and academies in local communities. Ad 2 is a national network of local advertising federations whose members are age 32 and younger and give young professionals a chance to interact with their peers. Ad 2 clubs also help to bridge the gap between college graduation and entry into the professional world by providing professional development and public service programs.

Wally Snyder, AAF president and CEO, added, "We are very honored to work with PE4Life and provide them with the marketing expertise of our members. By connecting PE4Life with our member ad clubs across the country, we are confident that this initiative will meet with increased success and awareness."

Almost 65 percent of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese. Current trends suggest that number will jump dramatically in the coming decades as today's heavier children and teens become adults. Moreover, the health implications go far beyond body weight. For example, the incidence of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, once considered adult problems, has increased dramatically in children and adolescents because more of them are overweight.

PE4life Academies are school-based, exemplary daily physical education programs that focus on lifetime, health-related physical activity and wellness. Not only do Academies serve all the youth within the school in which they are based, they also provide critical training to regional school and community leaders in the development of their own PE4life Programs, including a community advocacy plan and a guide for implementing school wellness policies. Schools that have trained at a PE4life Academy, have completed a PE4life Action Plan and have met a specific set of health and wellness criteria are eligible to be designated an official PE4life Program.

"The PE4life way gets results," said Anne Flannery, president and CEO of PE4life. "Our kids are healthier. The task now is to scale up the number of PE4life Academies around the country so we can reach more communities and schools. The power of the AAF and its 200 ad clubs will be of great help in promoting our mission and expanding the number of PE4life Programs positively impacting our nation's young people."

PE4life Academies are currently established in Illinois, Iowa and Pennsylvania. Three new Academies are scheduled to open during the 2006–07 school year in Missouri, Arkansas and Indiana. PE4life's goal is to have at least one PE4life Academy operational in each of the 50 states by the end of 2011.

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PE4life® is a national advocacy, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to develop a country of active, healthy children and youth by increasing access to quality physical education solutions. By convening those who are concerned about the health and fitness of children, providing education and acting as a catalyst for change in our communities and schools, PE4life imparts the knowledge, skills and inspiration for children to adopt a lifetime of physical activity, health and well-being. PE4life(r) is headquartered at 810 Baltimore Avenue, Suite 100, Kansas City, MO 64105. Tel. (816) 472-7345; www.pe4life.org

The American Advertising Federation (AAF), headquartered in Washington, D.C., acts as the "Unifying Voice for Advertising." The AAF is the oldest national advertising trade association, representing 50,000 professionals in the advertising industry. The AAF has a national network of 200 ad clubs located in ad communities across the country. Through its 215 college chapters, the AAF provides 6,500 advertising students with real-world case studies and recruitment connections to corporate America. The AAF also has 130 blue-chip corporate members that are advertisers, agencies and media companies, comprising the nation's leading brands and corporations. For more information, visit the AAF's Web site at www.aaf.org.