First Lady Tonette Walker, Sesame Street's Grover and UnitedHealthcare Encourage Kids to Read and Live Healthy

November 18, 2013

Wisconsin First Lady Tonette Walker, Sesame Street’s Grover and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Wisconsin President Jeff Nohl taught Milwaukee-area students the importance of learning about healthy food choices.

The event featured an interactive discussion about healthy foods with the First Lady of Wisconsin, Mr. Nohl and Grover as part of Sesame Street’s Food for Thought: Eating Well on a Budget program, part of UnitedHealthcare’s commitment to helping people in Wisconsin and across the country live healthier lives through education on nutrition, fun and fitness activities.

“Being active and learning about healthy foods are vital components of a child’s ability to succeed in school,” said Mrs. Walker, whose Year of Well-Being is driven by four main areas: Be Active, Be Connected, Be Informed, and Be Part of Your Community. These themes were developed to achieve a well-rounded approach to wellness so Wisconsinites will be better equipped to increase their overall wellness now and in the future.

Mrs. Walker began today’s program by reading to students from the book “Elmo’s Breakfast Bingo.” Grover and Nohl paid a surprise visit to the children and the First Lady to underscore that reading is a great way to learn about healthy food and lifestyle choices, and then led students in an interactive game to help children distinguish between a healthy or “anytime” food and a “sometimes food.”

UnitedHealthcare and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, partnered to develop Food for Thought as a bilingual (English-Spanish) multimedia outreach initiative that supports families who have children ages 2-8 cope with uncertain or limited access to affordable and nutritious food, also known as food insecurity. The program is aimed at helping low-income families make food choices that are affordable and nutritional, and set the foundation for lifelong healthy habits.

“We appreciate the support of First Lady Walker and the partnership of Sesame Workshop to engage children in reading and healthy lifestyle choices,” said Nohl. “Improving the health of Wisconsin children is increasingly important given the health challenges facing so many of our residents, including our youngest.”

UnitedHealthcare supports programs and services in Wisconsin and across the country that promote exercise, nutrition and healthy eating for families and children in the fight against obesity.

According to America’s Health Rankings® by United Health Foundation, Wisconsin ranks 24th among all 50 states for the prevalence of obesity, with an obesity rate of nearly 28 percent. Nationwide, about one in three American children ages 2 to 19 are overweight. Half of these children – about one in six – are considered obese.

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 780,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

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