Fighting Obesity by Balancing Calories In with Calories Out

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Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation launches national family-centered campaign to curb obesity

May 9, 2011

Together Counts™ program invites American families to take pledge to work together against obesity

WASHINGTON D.C. – The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation – a 160-member organization committed to reducing obesity - especially childhood obesity – today launched a national campaign called the Together Counts™ program that encourages families to eat meals together and engage in physical activities together to help counter obesity and promote good health.

Families will be provided with tools to track their progress and compare them with the results in their communities and across America. The program will also offer rewards and incentives to provide positive reinforcement. The Together Counts website ( will provide families with tips and advice that fuel participation, and a mobile app will give participants access to log and track their progress anywhere.

“Families that eat together and share regular physical activities are happier and healthier,” said Lisa Gable, executive director of Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF). “A family meal or a family activity is a teachable moment – an opportunity to pass on healthy habits to children. When families eat and engage in physical activity together, parents get the opportunity to teach in the most effective way possible – by example, on a regular basis.”

The Together Counts campaign is aimed at encouraging energy balance between calories consumed and calories expended – a fundamental underpinning of efforts to reduce obesity. The Together Counts program advances the goal of energy balance by drawing on the strength of families.

"Lifelong healthy eating habits begin at home," said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi, who chairs the HWCF. "When children see their parents eating a balanced diet and engaging with them in regular physical activity, they receive a life lesson, one that is reinforced daily within the family."

The Together Counts initiative’s focus on family shares an objective with the First Lady’s Let’s Move! Campaign, which has issued a challenge to families to be among the first to achieve a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) by committing to physical activity five days a week, for six weeks.

“Kids derive strength from their parents,” pointed out Ric Jurgens, Chairman and CEO of Hy-vee and HWCF Vice-Chair. “When they engage in physical activity together, or sharing meals together, kids draw the resolve and discipline they need to keep at it.”

The Together Counts campaign provides families with tools to track their progress. Through a family profile page, families will be able to log their results and gain points. They will be able to compare their results with overall results in their communities and across America, engage in positive competition and share their successes, tips, and ideas on facebook, directly from the website.

This program is one of several HWCF efforts aimed at reducing obesity by encouraging Americans to achieve energy balance.

Together Counts is on Facebook at and on Twitter at

The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation brings together 160 retailers, food and beverage manufacturers, restaurants, sporting goods and insurance companies, two professional sports organizations, NGOs, trade associations, and the U.S. Army aimed at doing their part to help families reduce obesity, especially childhood obesity.

Click here to download the Together Counts School Activism Campaign: Backgrounder

Click here to view the Together Counts Social Activism Program: FAQs

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