An estimated one-third of American children are overweight or obese. In support of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, the Saucony brand is joining the race against this epidemic with the launch of Saucony Run4Good — the running industry’s first iPhone app raising money and awareness around this crisis.
With every mile, runners earn money for community youth running programs fast-tracking kids back to health. “As a brand focused on runners, innovation and social responsibility, we believe the Saucony Run4Good app offers a new world of possibilities to engage with our community in a relevant, innovative and meaningful way while inspiring a strong unity of purpose to make a difference for our kids,” said Chris Lindner, Saucony's CMO and SVP for commerce.
The statistics on U.S. childhood obesity are alarming: almost 20% of children ages 6 to 11 and 18% of those 12 to 19 are considered obese. The CDC estimates that over the past three decades, childhood obesity has more than doubled for preschool children aged 2-5 years and adolescents 12-19 years, and more than tripled for children 6-11 years.
That's why, starting Tuesday, the Saucony Run4Good app will let users set a monthly mileage goal that when reached, triggers the brand to double its donation to selected youth running programs, while the app’s monthly leader boards invite runners to challenge friends and join teams that compete together to accumulate mileage.
Launched in 2006, the Saucony Run For Good Foundation has awarded nearly one million dollars in grants to organizations nationwide, including five non-profit recipients who will set the community mileage goals and be profiled on the site. The American Diabetes Association New England Division is featured at launch, followed by Eric Thomas Foundation, Houston, Texas, Mount Desert Island YMCA, Bar Harbor, Maine, Marathon High, Austin, Texas, and United Way of Northeast Florida, Jacksonville.
“Delivering the first app in the running industry that address childhood obesity underlines our continued commitment to this issue,” said Richie Woodworth, president of the Saucony Run For Good Foundation Board of Directors. “The Saucony Run4Good app is an impactful way for more people to connect as a community and take action.”
Another recent public health app initiative comes from the “Life…supplemented” campaign, managed by the Council for Responsible Nutrition, lead trade association for the dietary supplement industry, is WannaBeWell.
“It’s an at-your-fingertips health and wellness resource that brings convenience to the crucial wellness decisions consumers make on a daily basis,” said Judy Blatman, CRN's communications senior vice president.
For each download, a $1.00 donation (up to $13,500) will be made to Vitamin Angels to help reduce child mortality worldwide. “We know that over two-thirds of American adults take dietary supplements—and that about half of American adults have smart phones, so this app should appeal to a wide audience” said Andy Pray, Ruder Finn Interactive, developers of the app.
September was declared National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month by Presidential Proclamation in 2010, and first Lady Michelle Obama’s Let's Move! Campaign is committed to "solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight."
According to the CDC, it takes just 60 minutes (or more) of daily physical activity such as brisk walking or running to be actively healthy. Saucony, founded in 1898, is true to its slogan: “At Saucony, a good day is when we get to run. A great day is when we inspire someone else to run.”
They’re certainly putting their money where there footsteps fall.