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America On the Move and More Than 1,500 YMCAs Kick Off Steptember 2007

Nationwide activities encourage Americans to move more and eat smart

BOSTON, Sept. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of its national response to a recent report that again this year, obesity rates climbed in 31 states across the U.S., today America On the Move Foundation(R) (AOMF) and YMCA of the USA's YMCA Activate America(R) initiative kicked off Steptember 2007 -- a national, month-long celebration highlighting the benefits of healthy, active living.

AOM's research-based programs encourage people to move more and eat smart by making two small daily changes:

-- Take 2,000 more steps (about 1 mile)

-- Eat 100 fewer calories (about a tablespoon of butter)

"Again this year, 31 states reported obesity rates have climbed," said James O. Hill, Ph.D., AOMF co-founder and professor of pediatrics and medicine at the University of Colorado and Health Sciences Center. "Obesity is a public health crisis that AOM is determined to help solve -- with simple steps. Our research proves that making small, manageable changes can help control weight and overall health."

Throughout the month of September, Americans can visit to participate in the Steptember campaign. By pledging to make two small changes each day, Americans are eligible for a chance to win prizes. Each day, one online participant will win an iPod shuffle. Additionally, at the end of the month, one lucky participant will win a $500 shopping spree at DICK's Sporting Goods.

Throughout the month of September, AOM activities include:

-- AOM Week with the YMCA. From Sept. 22 to 27, more than 1,500 YMCAs

across the country will participate in AOM Week with the YMCA and host

activities that inspire individuals and families to take small steps

and get active.

-- Community Involvement. In addition to widespread participation from

YMCAs nationwide, thousands of existing AOM organizations (worksites,

faith-based organizations, community groups, etc.) will host

2,000-step activities.

-- New Data about Healthy Living. AOM will announce the results of a

national poll with new information and trends about the obesity

epidemic and healthy lifestyles.

"As YMCAs nationwide expand their efforts to encourage healthier lifestyles, we are excited to join AOM in celebrating Steptember through America On the Move Week with the YMCA," said Neil Nicoll, president and CEO of YMCA of the USA. "Our nation's health crisis is the defining issue of this generation and the next, and through YMCA Activate America we are reaching out to engage all people who seek well-being of spirit, mind and body. The small-changes message fits well with our efforts, and we look forward to sharing it with the thousands of communities and millions of people that YMCAs serve."

PepsiCo and its Smart Spot products are supporting this effort as the National Presenting Sponsor of AOM and a national sponsor of YMCA Activate America. Today, more than 300 Smart Spot products are available, including Tropicana(R), Aquafina(R), Gatorade(R), Baked! Lay's(R), Quaker Oats (R) and Diet Pepsi(R) among others. Additional Steptember sponsors include LEAN CUISINE and Merck & Co., Inc.

About America On the Move Foundation

America On the Move Foundation (AOM) is a national nonprofit helping individuals, families and communities across our nation make positive changes to improve the health and quality of life. With more than a million participants on and offline, America On the Move (AOM) initiates and maintains individual, social, and environmental behavior changes that support healthy eating and active living habits in our society. AOM's science-based programs provide the support and tools that help individuals of all ages manage weight effectively through energy balance. For more information about Steptember and other free AOM programs, please visit:

About YMCAs and YMCA Activate America(R)

The nation's 2,663 YMCAs serve nearly 20.2 million people each year, including 9.4 million children under the age of 18. Through a variety of programs and services focused on the holistic development of children and youth, health and well-being for all and family strengthening, YMCAs unite men, women and children of all ages, faiths, backgrounds, abilities and income levels. From urban areas to small towns, YMCAs have proudly served America's communities for nearly 160 years by building healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Visit to find your local YMCA.

America On the Move Week with the YMCA is part of Activate America(R) the YMCA's bold approach to directly address our nation's lifestyle health crisis. Activate America calls on YMCAs to transform the way they work, both internally and externally, to engage all children, youth, adults and families whose successful pursuit of health and well-being in spirit, mind and body requires continuous, supportive relationships and environments.

About PepsiCo and the Smart Spot Program

PepsiCo, one of the world's largest food and beverage companies, is committed to providing industry leadership in the health and wellness arena. PepsiCo and its Smart Spot products are supporting this effort as a national sponsor of YMCA Activate America and the National Presenting Sponsor of America On the Move. PepsiCo launched the Smart Spot symbol, the first-of-its-kind designation that makes it easier for consumers to identify PepsiCo products that can contribute to healthier lifestyles. Products that feature the Smart Spot symbol meet established nutrition criteria based on authoritative statements from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Academy of Sciences. The Smart Spot logo appears on more than 300 products across all of PepsiCo's brands including Tropicana(R), Aquafina(R), Gatorade(R), Baked! Lay's(R), Quaker Oats (R) and Diet Pepsi(R) among others.

SOURCE America On the Move Foundation
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