Progressive Grocer

AUG 2015

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Produce Fresh Food Best Friends Forever The produce industry unites to inspire lifelong healthy eating habits among kids. By Jennifer Strailey W ith nearly one in three children in America either overweight or obese, the need to turn kids and their families on to a more active lifestyle that's rich in fresh fruits and vegetables remains profound. For the past several years, the produce business, from growers to retailers to industry organiza- tions, has worked to end the obesity epidemic with a collective surge of creativity it hopes will mean a healthier future for the nation. Campaigns like "Eat Brighter!" from the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), Sesame Workshop and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), along with a slew of new products, are making fruits and vegetables more fun and kid-friendly than ever. Programs that encourage children to grab more fruits and veggies on the go are also making their mark at supermarkets around the country. "I believe, as an industry, we feel a sense of duty in regards to fghting childhood obesity," says Cathy Burns, president of Newark, Del.-based PMA, who is "thrilled" that Sesame Workshop and PHA have extended the Eat Brighter program partner- ship through 2018, and into Mexico, meaning that produce marketers who sell product in that country can now use images of the program's "Sesame Street" characters in their marketing strategies.

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