Sports leagues, White House partner to drive exercise in U.S.

WASHINGTON — More than a dozen sports leagues and players’ associations, from the NFL to the PGA Tour, have promised the White House that they will provide more opportunities for people to be physically active and learn about nutrition and adopting healthy lifestyles.

The White House announced Thursday that the leagues and associations are participating in the White House Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities. The challenge was launched last year as a follow-up to the 2022 White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.

At the conference, President Joe Biden announced a national strategy to meet an ambitious goal to end hunger and reduce diseases related to diet by 2030. The challenge calls on parties with a stake in the outcome to make “bold commitments” toward meeting the goal, according to the White House.

Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, said it is “simply unacceptable” that obesity and Type 2 diabetes are among the leading causes of death in the United States.

He said the leagues have “stepped up” to help Biden meet his goal by signing agreements with the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition, an advisory body that exists to promote healthy eating and physical activity. The council is co-chaired by chef Jose Andres and WNBA player Elena Delle Donne.

Among commitments being announced by the sports leagues:

The NFL will expand PLAY60, its national health and wellness program to encourage young people to devote at least 60 minutes a day to physical activity. The NFL will also integrate the importance of nutrition into its messaging for the program.

The NBA and WNBA will continue to develop programs and events that promote a healthy diet and physical activity to young people, including at the All-Star Game in Indianapolis later this month. Emhoff said he will be attending the game.

The NHL, MLB, MLS, NWSL and other sports leagues have made similar commitments, he said.

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