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FirstBIKE, Knowledge Universe, Nutri Ventures, Sodexo and Four Hospital Systems Join the Partnership for a Healthier America to Offer Healthier Choices

At PHA's annual Summit, organizations announce new commitments aimed at ending the childhood obesity epidemic

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- FirstBIKE, Knowledge Universe, Nutri Ventures, Sodexo and four hospital systems announced new commitments to the childhood obesity fight today at the Partnership for a Healthier America's (PHA) 2014 Building a Healthier Future Summit. PHA works with the private sector and its honorary chair First Lady Michelle Obama to end the nation's childhood obesity crisis.

"We are so pleased about the commitments announced today and the difference that these companies will make in the health of children for years to come," said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. "Our new partners are putting a stake in the ground to provide healthier options and lifestyles for millions of Americans – nationally and locally. We are proud to have them join us in the fight against childhood obesity."

FirstBIKE™ develops durable, lightweight training bikes for children between ages 2 and 5, which support the development of balance and provide a no-stress method of learning to ride a bike. FirstBIKE is committing to donate balance bikes to the YMCA and similar organizations in order to provide increased physical activity opportunities for children in early childcare environments.

Knowledge Universe, the largest private early childhood education provider, with more than 2,000 locations in the U.S., is implementing specific standards that promote healthier behavior at its KinderCare, CCLC and Champions centers. Knowledge Universe's commitment – which reflects the best practices determined by the Yale Wellness Child Care Assessment Tool (WellCCAT) – focuses on limiting screen time, providing ample opportunities for physical activity, healthy food and beverage choices, accommodating mothers who wish to breastfeed and offering engagement and nutrition education for parents.

Nutri Ventures is the world's first multi-platform children's entertainment brand that emphasizes nutrition and healthy eating.  Its globally popular animated television series, "Nutri Ventures: The Quest for the 7 Kingdoms", is just the start of its entertainment content, which also includes music videos and other digital content; special materials for kids, parents and educators; and a virtual online world that kids can explore.  Today, Nutri Ventures committed to use its multi-media entertainment to promote healthy lifestyles and nutritious foods to children across the country.

Sodexo is the global leader in Quality of Life Services, providing integrated facilities management and food service operations to corporate, education, health care and government market segments. Serving more than 15 million consumers daily at 9,000 client sites in North America, Sodexo committed to implement healthy dining programs in 95 percent of its food service accounts, expand healthier food choices in hospitals, offer more free breakfast meals in schools and increase the selection of healthier, more nutritious options in its vending and K-12 lunchroom programs.

Eskenazi Health, Meridian, St. Luke's Hospital and UnityPoint Health – Trinity have joined nearly 400 hospitals in PHA's Hospital Healthy Food Initiative in a commitment to offer more healthy options throughout their facilities over the next few years. These hospitals will implement PHA's Hospital Healthy Food Initiative guidelines, which include improving the nutrition of patient meals as well as that of the food options in on-site cafeterias.

For more information about specific commitment elements, visit ahealthieramerica.org

SOURCE Partnership for a Healthier America

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