Football Heroes Step Up to Help Kids Stay Healthy

September 27, 2011 Updated Sep 27, 2011 at 12:41 PM EDT

By WKBW News
By Jaclyn Asztalos

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September 27, 2011 Updated Sep 27, 2011 at 12:41 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - Some big-time local football heroes are stepping in to help children get healthy with the NFL Play 60 program.

"We're here to encourage and promote being active for at least sixty minutes a day. Try to teach them at a young age we can equip them with these type of tools they can carry throughout rest of their lives," Bills Safety George Wilson said.

The Buffalo Bills, American Heart Association and Blue Cross Blue Shield teamed up for this program. American Heart Association Board Member Chris Henrich said for good reasons.

"It's critical because one of three children in the United States is obese. This is going to cause critical problem with health in the future," Henrich said.

Gretchen Fierle with Blue Cross Blue Shield said education is key.

"This is why we are supporting this critical program, to get children moving and very aware of physical activity and good nutrition and how it impacts their physical well-being," Fierle said.

More than 2500 students from the Buffalo and surrounding school district came out to Kleinhans Music Hall for the kick-off event. Topping off the day with members of the buffalo Bills and Dennis George The Quiz Master, all examples of people who are living healthy.

"I started a weight lost program and lost 45 pounds and still working at it. I'm living the message," George said.

The goal of the program is to have each student take out of their day for physical activities, in their classrooms and at home with their families, making their lives healthier now and for years to come.