The New York City Acknowledges The NFL Alumni’s Tackle Obesity Initiative

March 4, 2024

In a ceremony held on March 4, 2024, Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan, on behalf of Mayor Eric Adams.

Presented a proclamation recognizing the impactful work of the NFL Alumni and its Tackle Obesity Program. NFL Alumni was represented by two-time Super Bowl-winning NFL Giant, Ottis Anderson. The former New York Giants star has played a pivotal role in the NFL Alumni Association’s Tackle Obesity Initiative, aligning with the city’s overarching health goals outlined in the HealthyNYC agenda.

The proclamation acknowledges the NFL Alumni’s and Anderson’s dedicated efforts to combat obesity, which aligns with the goals of the comprehensive HealthyNYC initiative. Introduced in November of 2023, HealthyNYC aims to foster longer, healthier lives for the residents of New York City by uniting public, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors to address the local and national decline in life expectancy.

“In an era when lifespans and health-spans are falling in New York and around the nation, it’s more important than ever that we prevent illness and intervene early, especially in the rising tide of obesity in America,” stated Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “Obesity is linked to a host of illnesses, especially diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, that are causing New Yorkers to suffer too much, and to be taken from us too soon. And we know that to save lives, we must invest time and energy in the ‘hard yards to fight obesity,’ especially by promoting the availability and accessibility of healthy foods along with important lifestyle changes, and ensuring access and equity as we do so. Ottis has a proven record of success crossing the goal line, and we could not ask for a better partner in this fight for healthier, longer lives for all.”

NFL Alumni CEO Brad Edwards emphasized the significance of the Tackle Obesity initiative, stating, “The NFL Alumni Association’s commitment to addressing obesity aligns seamlessly with our mission to make a positive impact on the health and well-being of communities. We are proud to support HealthyNYC’s goals and work collaboratively towards a healthier and more resilient New York City.”

The Tackle Obesity initiative, initially designed to assist former players in maintaining physical health during retirement, has evolved into a robust public outreach program. It offers individuals the opportunity to be coached by former athletes, encouraging healthy dietary and fitness choices while instilling motivation and perseverance.

Many factors, some within and some outside of an individual’s control, inform how much someone weighs, including socioeconomic, environmental, and genetic factors. Regardless, having a coach can support individuals in taking steps to improve their health, regardless of their shape, size or weight.

The proclamation ceremony, held on World Obesity Day, March 4, marked the commencement of a month-long campaign by the NFL Alumni Association to tackle obesity. The initiative dovetails with the overarching goals of HealthyNYC, which aims to extend lifespans to an all-time high of 83 by 2030, focusing on targeted strategies to address chronic illnesses and promote overall well-being.

Photo credit: HWM.

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