To be managed by the Chicago Park District, the Park Families Wellness Initiative will offer affordable nutrition education and active lifestyle programs at more than sixty community facilities across the region. The district also will hire former military personnel to teach military-style fitness classes at the facilities as a way to create jobs and economic opportunity for local veterans and encourage residents to live active, healthy lifestyles. In addition, the grant will support the creation of adaptive recreation classes for disabled veterans.
In October, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group announced that they would add calorie information to products sold in vending machines in Chicago and San Antonio. The companies plan to roll out the program in other cities in 2013.
"Together with [Chicago mayor Rahm] Emanuel and [the] Garfield Park Conservatory, we want to increase access to nutrition education and physical activity programs in underserved communities," said Steve Cahillane , president and CEO of Coca-Cola Refreshments. "Obesity can't be solved overnight. However, collaborative programs like the Parks Families Wellness Initiative are a start and should be encouraged throughout the country."