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    Marsh, Peyton Manning Team Up to Fight Childhood Obesity

    Marsh Supermarkets is joining with Peyton Manning, Ball State University and Strategic Marketing & Research, Inc. to kick off a school health-and-wellness campaign aimed at fighting Indiana’s childhood obesity problem.

    Marsh Supermarkets is joining with Peyton Manning, Ball State University and Strategic Marketing & Research, Inc. to kick off a school health-and-wellness campaign aimed at fighting Indiana’s childhood obesity problem. A collaborative effort with Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent, Project 18 -- named after Manning’s football jersey number -- provides elementary schools with an 18-week health-and-wellness curriculum designed to address the major risk behaviors in third-grade to fifth-grade students.

    In addition to the school health-and-wellness curriculum, Manning also unveiled the new Project 18 PSA, which will be provided to Indiana broadcast stations to raise awareness, and promote healthy eating and active lifestyles. The Project 18 PSA will also encourage elementary schools to participate in the program to keep their respective students healthy.

    Marsh Supermarkets will implement two important program elements to help children and parents identify healthy foods, the foremost being “Down the Aisle,” which identifies food items that are Project 18-approved on Marsh’s shelves, based on health guidelines created by registered dieticians at Ball State University and Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent.

    The Indianapolis-based regional grocer -- which operates 99 Marsh Supermarkets and five O’Malia’s Food Markets in Indiana and Ohio, along with 41 pharmacy locations -- will also provide store tours to educate children and parents on reading food labels and practicing portion control, as well as providing healthy tips on shopping for food in each food pyramid section.

    At the end of June, Project 18 will travel Indiana roadways, bringing its mobile van to various community events and safety days to engage Hoosiers in the program. Kids will participate in an array of fun activities, and have the opportunity to view a virtual Manning conveying information about Project 18 at the community events.

    “The 18 interactive lessons allow students to learn critical health content while giving them a chance to practice their new health-enhancing skills in real-life situations,” said Joanne Hilden, medical director of Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent.

    In 2008, Indiana ranked 11th in the country for obesity. Approximately one-third of Hoosier children are overweight, and thus are more likely to develop high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, low self-esteem and depression.

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