Posted 02/21/2012 | By HealthCorps

Health Sciences Partners with Movement Founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz to Address Child Obesity Through Proven Peer Mentoring Program

New York, New York– HealthCorps®, a wellness movement with a peer mentoring program in 53 high schools in 13 states, will formally announce its new three-year partnership with USANA Health Sciences during a “Teen Battle Chef” cook-off between two teams of students. Among the panel of judges will be HealthCorps Co-Founder and Chairman, renowned heart surgeon and two-time Emmy® Award-winning talk show host, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and USANA Health Sciences’ Founder, Dr. Myron Wentz, and CEO David Wentz. Teen Battle Chef was conceived by FamilyCook Productions to engage youth in healthier eating habits through a personalized culinary program that uses fresh whole foods, international recipes and the knowledge gained through trips to farmer’s markets and organic farms.

WHAT: HealthCorps was co-founded by Dr. Oz and his wife, Lisa Oz, to help stem the rise of child obesity by engaging youth as the catalyst to help Americans become healthier. The Teen Battle Chef culinary program is a component of HealthCorps’ nutrition, fitness and mental strength core curriculum, which hones students’ cooking, public speaking, team-building and leadership skills. As HealthCorps’ new national sponsor, USANA Health Sciences will provide funds to help the non-profit expand and enrich the high school mentoring program and launch new initiatives to extend health messaging to larger numbers of youth, teachers and communities across the country.

WHEN: Thursday, February 23, from 12:30 p.m.to 2:30 p.m.

WHERE: Columbia University’s Hammer Science Library at 701 168th Street, River View Lounge on 4th Floor.

PRESS: This event is open to credentialed members of the media, check in begins at 11:30 a.m.

WHO: HealthCorps students from New York City and New Jersey, along with Coordinators from Monroe Academy in the Bronx and Cliffside Park High School in New Jersey will prepare special recipes as they showcase their presentation skills. A panel of judges will include Dr. Oz, Lisa Oz, Dr. Myron Wentz and David Wentz of USANA Health Sciences, Chef/Author Rocco DiSpirito and Chef Michael Ferrarro. Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health students and members of Columbia’s “Students for Food Policy and Obesity Prevention” program will help organize the event and participate at the cook-off.

According to Dr. Oz, HealthCorps Chairman, “I am grateful to USANA Health Sciences for helping us launch the HealthCorps program in more high schools and communities. Peer mentoring has proven to be an optimal resource to reach teens and show them not only how to better value their bodies, but also to give them purpose and direction.”

About HealthCorps
HealthCorps® (www.healthcorps.org), a 501 (C) 3 co-founded by world-renowned cardiac surgeon and two-time Emmy® Award-winning host Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife, Lisa Oz, is building a movement to get to the underbelly of the childhood obesity by helping Americans discover what they are really hungry for and why. HealthCorps “Coordinators” carry out unique in-school and community programming targeting high-need populations. Using peer-mentoring to deliver a progressive curriculum in nutrition, fitness and mental strength, HealthCorps Coordinators give teens purpose, help develop human character, and inspire an interest in health and culinary arts careers. HealthCorps also serves as a unique research laboratory – exploring the complex, underlying causes of the obesity crisis and discovering and communicating solutions. HealthCorps is bringing many initiatives together to address the “Whole Child” and activate the students’ mind, body and spirit. As a result, HealthCorps is transforming the educational paradigm one school at a time. The program network spans 53 schools in 13 states. Please follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthcorps and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthCorps.

Health Sciences USANA Health Sciences is a U.S.-based nutritional supplements company focused on preventing disease and promoting personal health. Operating in 18 countries, USANA’s reach is global, as are its philanthropic efforts. In the past few years, the company has donated over $11 million in fiscal and in-kind donations to organizations working to nourish children in developing nations. Dr. Myron Wentz, USANA’s founder, has constructed health centers in two of Africa’s most impoverished regions, while USANA’s CEO, Dave Wentz, a long-time supporter of children’s charities, donated all of the proceeds from his recent bestselling book, The Healthy Home, to a nonprofit cause. USANA Health Sciences looks forward to giving back to the community in new and exciting ways.

About FamilyCook Productions and Teen Battle Chef
Teen Battle Chef is a youth development program exploring culinary, nutrition, food systems and gardening education. Developed by FamilyCook Productions founder and author Lynn Fredericks, Teen Battle Chef empowers youth to challenge themselves on a skills level while practicing being part of team effort.  Young people develop leadership, teamwork, and culinary skills as well as gain nutrition knowledge and a new appreciation for diverse, healthy and sustainably-produced food. The evidence-based curriculum is designed to be implemented by school or community group staff to combat the growing obesity problem in youth. For more information on Teen Battle Chef and FamilyCook, please visitwww.familycookproductions.com, call 212/867-3929 or emailinfo@familycookproductions.com.

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