YMCA of the USA Encourages Americans to Take Small Steps Toward A 'Healthy Family Home' During America On The Move Week With the YMCA, Sept. 20-27, 2008

Week-Long Campaign Aims to Motivate Millions of Families Nationwide to Begin Leading Healthier Lives, Starting in the Home

WASHINGTON DC, September 15, 2008—During America On the Move Week with the YMCA, Sept. 20-27, 2008, YMCA of the USA is inviting families to join approximately 1,400 YMCAs across the country in taking small steps toward creating a “healthy family home.” This year, YMCAs are helping individuals make positive lifestyle changes and introducing families to YMCA Healthy Family Home, a simple, flexible approach that helps families move more, eat healthfully and build stronger family relationships. 

A recent national survey by the America On the Move® Foundation found that almost 60 percent of Americans do not believe they get enough daily physical activity for good health and more than a third worry about their children’s weight. Even though 40 percent said a doctor has recommended they lose weight, lack of time and motivation have kept many from taking the necessary steps to improve their health and the health of their families. 

“So many families know they should make positive lifestyle changes but don’t know where or how to begin. YMCA Healthy Family Home and America On the Move Week with the YMCA give families that extra boost they need to incorporate healthy activities into their ever day routines,” said Valerie Lawson, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., director of the Healthy Family Home. “We hope to inspire and show millions of families who are seeking a balance between the demands of work and family just how making small changes can bring their families together in healthy ways.”

During America On the Move Week with the YMCA, families and individuals are encouraged to be more active and eat healthfully by making smarter food choices. “Steps” are awarded for actual steps taken during the week as well as equivalents for all other forms of physical activity, such as swimming, biking and dancing and other group or family activities that promote well-being, such as eating together as a family. Healthy Family Home’s research has shown that these kinds of family activities can produce significant long-term results.

Individuals, as well as families, are encouraged to participate in America On the Move Week with the YMCA. Participants can begin to track their “steps” by contacting their local YMCA to request an America on the Move Quick Start Guide with a tracking form and step conversions for common exercises and activities, or by signing up at The goal is to reach 10 billion steps across the country during this designated week. 

 “This is the third year of an incredibly successful partnership between America On the Move and the YMCA and we are grateful for their continued support and dedication to promoting the small steps approach to a healthier way of life,” said James O. Hill, Ph.D., co-founder of America On the Move.  “We hope these events will inspire families and individuals to join millions of others taking that important first step.”

For the first time in history, children are predicted to live less healthy and possibly even shorter lives than their parents because of chronic diseases and obesity. Research by the America on the Move Foundation has shown that making two small daily changes – taking 2,000 more steps (the equivalent of about a mile) and eating 100 fewer calories – can prevent the average annual weight gain of one to two pounds.

To help families get on track, Healthy Family Home offers simple tools that are flexible and doable for any family in any community and helps them focus on the small, sustainable changes. The goal is to help families maintain these healthy lifestyle changes beyond America On the Move Week with the YMCA.

America On the Move Week with the YMCA is a partnership between the YMCA and the America On the Move Foundation. America On the Move is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving health and quality of life by promoting healthy eating and active living for individuals, families, communities and society.  The Smart Spot® Program from PepsiCo is a national supporter of YMCA Activate America and the National Founding Sponsor of America On the Move. 

America On the Move Week with the YMCA is part of Activate America ®, the YMCA’s response to the nation’s growing health crisis.  Through Activate America, the YMCA is redefining itself and engaging communities across the country to provide better opportunities for people of all ages in their pursuit of health and well-being in spirit, mind and body. 

Healthy Family Home is a community partnership with the YMCA, made possible by Eli Lilly and Company. For more information about the program, visit


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About YMCAs:  The nation’s 2,686 YMCAs serve 21 million people each year, including nearly 10 million children under the age of 18. Through a variety of programs and services focused on the holistic development of children and youth, family strengthening, and health and well-being for all, YMCAs unite men, women and children of all ages, faiths, backgrounds, abilities and income levels. From urban areas to small towns, YMCAs have proudly served America’s communities for nearly 160 years by building healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Visit to find your local YMCA.

About America On the Move:  America On the Move Foundation Inc. is a national nonprofit organization that helps individuals, families and communities make positive changes to improve Americans’ health and quality of life. With more than a million participants on- and offline, America On the Move supports a small-changes approach to healthy eating and active living habits. America On the Move’s science-based programs and outreach support Americans of all ages manage their weight effectively through energy balance. For more information, please visit
About PepsiCo and the Smart Spot Program:  The Smart Spot® program from PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) is the national founding sponsor of America On the Move™ and a proud national partner of YMCA Activate America®. As one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies, PepsiCo recognizes its responsibility to encourage people to adopt healthier, active lifestyles – beginning with its products. In 2004, PepsiCo launched the Smart Spot® symbol – the symbol of smart choices made easy. This symbol makes it easier for consumers to identify PepsiCo products that contribute to a healthier lifestyle. The Smart Spot symbol appears on over 300 PepsiCo products including Tropicana Pure Premium® orange juice, Aquafina® water, Gatorade® Thirst Quencher, Baked!® Lay's® snacks, Quaker® Oatmeal and Diet Pepsi® soft drinks, among many others. For more information, visit

Kelly Kennai Grunig
YMCA of the USA
202-835-9043 ext. 15

Lynn Harmon
Harmon Group for YMCA of the USA

Monday, September 15, 2008

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The YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.