Discovery Familia is teaming with The President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition through its President's Challenge program to become a leading advocate among Hispanics for the "Million PALA Challenge."
The goal of the "Million PALA Challenge" is to motivate at least 1 million Americans to earn their Presidential Active Lifestyle Award by September.
The initiative, launched last September by PCFSN and the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative to fight childhood obesity, is being supported by the network on-air through programming and public service messages, online and through grass roots events.
PALA is for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities who want to jumpstart or maintain a healthy lifestyle. To earn a PALA, youth ages 6-17 must participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity for 60 minutes (30 minutes for adults) at least five days a week for six weeks. Upon completion, participants can earn a certificate of recognition signed by President Obama.
Hispanic adults have the second-highest rate of obesity at 27.8% (behind non-Hispanic blacks). In terms of gender, Latinas have a higher rate of obesity than men (29.4% vs. 27.8%).Yet, according to a Discovery Familia study, Hispanic moms still consider themselves healthy, despite having limited information on health and nutrition. Moreover, obesity is prevalent among pre-school aged children (2-4 years old) and ranks high among Hispanic children at 18.5%.
In March, Discovery Familia, during its Discovery Kids block, introduced a brand new weekday series, Bo on the Go, that aspires to instill a love for exercise in children.
Additionally, the network is running PSAs and on-air spots with Doki, the children's daytime block programming host. The messages are calls to action, aimed at exciting and encouraging kids to engage in physical activities, while the promos aimed at mothers push them to lead by example by participating in fun physical activities with their kids, as well as to register with their progeny for the PALA Challenge.
The Discovery Familia PALA Challenge microsite at www.discoveryfamilia.com, provides information about the initiative, including resources, tips, healthy recipes and instructions on how to sign up. The first 1,000 people to register and complete the challenge will receive a free "I took the PALA Challenge" T-shirt.
Officials said the network is also planning grass roots events in a number of top U.S. Hispanic markets with family fun and fitness activities for the entire family to stir participation and sign up.
"It is clear that there is a problem and we want to be a catalyst for change by providing U.S. Hispanic moms with the needed encouragement, information, as well as the tools and tips to help them and their kids lead healthier lifestyles and share quality time while being physically active," said Bilai Joa Silar, vice president and channel director, Discovery Networks U.S. Hispanic, Discovery en Español and Discovery Familia, in a statement.
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