Promoting Healthier Communities: United Way, Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation to Work Together to Promote Healthy Lifestyles

December 16, 2010

WASHINGTON D.C. – United Way Worldwide (UWW) and the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) today announced a partnership aimed at promoting active, healthy lifestyles to combat growth in the obesity rate, especially among young people.

UWW and the HWCF signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide a framework for cooperation to reverse increasing obesity levels in the United States.

“This partnership will help United Way advance our 10-year goal to get 1.9 million more kids healthy and fit,” said Stacey D. Stewart, executive vice president for Community Impact Leadership at United Way Worldwide.  “There is a link between youth health and other success factors like reduced rates of absenteeism and educational achievement.”

Both UWW and HWCF agree on the importance of encouraging “energy balance” – not taking in more calories than they burn through physical activity and normal growth – especially among young people.

 “One of the best ways to promote healthy communities is to support and promote healthy, active lifestyles,” said HWCF executive director Lisa Gable. “An important part of that is encouraging Americans, especially young people, to pursue a ‘calories-in, calories-out’ approach – taking in fewer calories and expending more through increased physical activity.”

About one-third of American adults are obese, and two-thirds are obese or overweight. Moreover, 20 percent of kids are obese, with 15 percent considered at risk of obesity.  The condition is closely associated with many chronic conditions, ranging from diabetes, to hypertension, to cardio-vascular disease.

United Way and the HWCF will participate in joint communication, outreach programs, forums, media activities and other programs to address the issue. Both organizations are committed to using evidence-based approaches to support and promote healthful diets, physical activity, daily energy balance and healthy body weights in an effort to restore energy balance among children.

United Way is a worldwide network in 40 countries and territories, including nearly 1,300 local organizations in the U.S. It advances the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks of education, income and health.  United Way recruits people and organizations who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done.  LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change. For more information about United Way, please visit:

The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation is a first-of-its kind coalition that brings together over 130 retailers, food and beverage manufacturers, sporting goods and insurance companies, restaurants, a professional sports association, trade associations, NGOs and the U.S. Army.  The Foundation focuses on activities in the schools, the workplace and the marketplace to promote healthy weight among Americans by balancing the energy they consume with the energy they expend through physical activity.

If you want a United Way Worldwide contact, too:
Sal Fabens, United Way Worldwide
[email protected]
703-836-7112, x401