WASHINGTON--The statistics are sobering: More than 16 million kids in America (one out of five) live in households that struggle to put food on the table. At the same time, over the past three decades childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and Americans are now eating 31 percent more calories than we were 40 years ago — including 56 percent more fats and oils and 14 percent more sugars and sweeteners. With Americans eating nearly one-third more packaged than fresh food, changes must be made.
“Our goal at the network has always been for EAT to be not just a television series, but part of a bigger conversation about every person’s relationship with food”
Now, as an accompaniment to the groundbreaking, six-hour miniseries EAT: THE STORY OF FOOD, premiering tonight, Friday, Nov. 21, through Sunday, Nov. 23, at 9 PM ET/PT, National Geographic Channel, with the help of No Kid Hungry® and First Lady Michelle Obama, aims to bring attention to America’s food and health crisis.
The signature element of the initiative is the launch of a free downloadable celebrity healthy eating recipe guide, featuring easy, healthy alternatives to our fast-food way of life from more than 70 actors, athletes, authors, chefs, musicians and explorers. From Sir Paul McCartney to Susan Sarandon, from Michael Strahan to Wolfgang Puck, each reached into his or her personal collection of favorite recipes with a common goal: to provide options for those in need of giving their diet a healthy kick start. The celebrity recipe guide also promotes donating food to those in need this holiday season.
NGC has also committed to running PSAs each night of the premiere, including a custom PSA taped for the special by First Lady Michelle Obama for her Let’s Move! campaign and a PSA from No Kid Hungry, which is ending childhood hunger in America.
“Our goal at the network has always been for EAT to be not just a television series, but part of a bigger conversation about every person’s relationship with food,” said Courteney Monroe, CEO of the National Geographic Channels. “We hope that by looking at both the past and the future of food, and through our partnership with these two outstanding organizations, we can shine a light on the issues being faced by millions of families every day, and, with our recipe guide, offer easy-to-implement healthy eating options for families.”
Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative launched by First Lady Michelle Obama dedicated to fighting the problem of childhood obesity in an effort to raise a healthier generation of kids. Combining comprehensive strategies with common sense, Let’s Move! is about putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years. During the premiere of EAT: THE STORY OF FOOD, NGC will air a custom PSA from the First Lady that encourages families to lead a healthier, active lifestyle.
“It’s up to us to determine how food will shape our future. We can help ourselves and our kids lead healthier lives by making simple changes, like cooking more meals at home, drinking more water, and getting more active with our families,” says the First Lady in the PSA.
More information on Let’s Move is available at www.letsmove.gov.
No Kid Hungry
No child should go hungry in America, but one in five will face hunger this year. Using proven, practical solutions, No Kid Hungry is working toward ending childhood hunger today by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. When we all work together, we can make sure all kids get the healthy food they need. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength. Join us at NoKidHungry.org.
National Geographic Channel will air PSAs from No Kid Hungrythroughout EAT: THE STORY OF FOOD and will post information about the program, and ways to get involved, on natgeotv.com/eat.
Healthy Eating Recipe Guide
With NGC’s Healthy Eating Recipe Guide in hand, families around the country can now enjoy star-studded dinners from the comfort of home. The guide is available as a free PDF download from www.natgeotv.com/cookbook. All NGC asks in exchange for each download is that a donation be made to a local food bank. With dozens of recipes featuring multiple cultural cuisines, the recipe guide offers endless possibilities, from Sir Paul McCartney’s super vegetable salad to Michael Strahan’s roasted Brussels sprouts to Susan Sarandon’s turkey basil artichoke meatballs. And the best part? Name dropping while eating healthy.
Here is a complete list of contributors:
Lilly and Audrey Andrews
Anna Maria Boardi
Diamond Dallas Page
Raul De Molina
William Ivey Long
Jenna Dewan Tatum
Peter and Mary Max
EAT: THE STORY OF FOOD is more than just a television special. Throughout 2014 the National Geographic Channel and the National Geographic Society have been exploring the future of food and celebrating our connection to food through a major, multiyear cross-platform initiative. The initiative grows out of an eight-month series in National Geographic magazine looking at how we can feed our growing world population, including the cover story of the December issue of the magazine, “The Joy of Food.” The magazine's coverage is now available as a free iPad app at natgeofoodapp.com. The initiative has also included two new books, a website at natgeofood.com, an education curriculum, events and exhibitions.