Philadelphia Eagles News

Matthews Inspires Students To Play 60

On Monday, students from William D. Kelley School visited Lincoln Financial Field to learn about healthy lifestyles through Fuel Up To Play 60...

Since the late 1960s, the obesity epidemic among children ages 6-19 has nearly quadrupled, having reached 15 percent. Studies show that physical activity among children improves school attendance, enhances academic performance and helps in the development of essential interpersonal skills.

Acting on this, students and faculty of William D. Kelley Public School were invited by the Eagles and the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association to attend a special "Fuel Up to Play 60" kickoff celebration in an effort to promote 60 minutes of exercise a day and healthy eating. But really, what is "Fuel Up to Play 60?"

The simple definition is providing the body with good nutrients, or fuel, so you can go out and participate in physical activity, such as playing for 60 minutes, but there is much more to it.

"Fuel Up to Play 60 is a nationwide program that reaches 73 million children across the country and promotes health and wellness in schools" said Marilyn Hershey, a member of the National Dairy Board. "It's critical for children to learn about healthy eating and to get exercise. Learning is something that we're all trying to promote and stand behind."

The Eagles added a voice to this initiative as wide receiver Jordan Matthews was present for the celebration. The truth is that professional athletes stand on the highest of platforms when it comes to showcasing healthy diet and exercise. They not only live a healthy lifestyle, but they also have learned and benefitted from a well-balanced diet and daily physical activity throughout their lives.

"They're going out there and exercising well and they're spending all of this time playing with their friends," Matthews said. "But then they go inside and they're putting the wrong things inside their body and really not adding the right fuel to their body."

The goal for Matthews was to highlight his experiences to help educate the children.

"I'm coming in to talk to these kids about fueling their body in a correct and healthy way," he added. "Eating right and healthy has been an important part of my career, so I think that I can pass on that advice too."

As for learning, Matthews is constantly changing his eating habits to further improve his diet.

"I'm from Alabama, so we eat healthy," he said. "But the problem is sometimes by the time the greens get to the plate they've been sautéed, spiced up, and everything else. Now I'm moving toward eating the foods more naturally, and that's kind of the next step for me health wise."

The children took this advice from Ms. Hershey and Matthews and had a chance to use it for their lunch. They were given the opportunity to make their own sandwiches, with healthy fixings. And then for dessert, they could create their own parfait by choosing from a multitude of healthy options.

Both of those options seemed like some great fuel for the kids to get out and play 60.

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