New York, NY (January 10, 2011)- On January 23rd, hip-hop legend and weight loss advocate, Fat Joe, will perform at an event celebrating the winners fromLet's Move! Newark: Our Power (LM!NOP), a program created by Behavioral Health & Fitness Expert, Jeff Halevy, to fight childhood obesity. After improving his lifestyle, Fat Joe has recently lost over 100 pounds and has chosen to be a part of Let's Move! Newark Our Power to encourage our youth to follow his success.
Jeff Halevy was hand-selected to create Let's Move! Newark: Our Power by Newark Mayor Cory Booker, as an extension of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Campaign, which Mayor Booker currently serves as the honorary Vice Chair. The program began in October of 2011 with 1,500 high school freshman in five different Newark, NJ high schools competing against each other for the most minutes moved. Barringer High School has achieved the coveted winning title with an impressive 619,600 minutes moved, earning them a performance by superstar recording artist, Fat Joe, as well as a renewed attitude towards physical activity and well being.
"I'm thrilled to be a part of something so instrumental in an adolescent's development and honored that Fat Joe has donated his talents and time to bring our nation one step closer in the fight against childhood obesity," said Jeff Halevy, creator of Let's Move! Newark: Our Power.
Obstacles associated with obesity hit very close to home for Fat Joe, weighing nearly 460 pounds at his heaviest. In 2000, he began to realize a lifestyle alteration was no longer an option but a necessity after Big Pun and nearly six of his friends, similar to his size, died from heart attacks. Subsequently, he spent much of his time at the gym and changed his eating habits, improving not only his appearance, but his overall health as well, as the diabetic of 16-years was able to rid himself of the disease. Despite his previous weight and health issues, Fat Joe is one of the world's most influential Rap artists. He has sold millions of albums, while masterminding chart topping hits and discovering hot new artists. Additionally, Joe has earned five RIAA gold certifications and two platinum certifications.
"Of all the challenges I have faced in my life, losing weight was probably the most difficult," said hip-hop idol, Fat Joe. "I am so happy to be able to spread the word on the dangers of obesity and join the Let's Move! Initiative with Let's Move! Newark: Our power."
The LM!NOP challenge in Newark will kick-off a national series to combat the overwhelming statistics on childhood obesity. Upon joining the program, each participating student received a MYTRAK, a cutting edge, credit card size, wearable health device, which measures both duration and intensity of physical activity. The 12-week program had students "Going for Green" on their MYTRAK device, turning the device's LED light from red to green, indicating that 60 minutes of physical activity have been achieved. MYTRAK donated 1,500 M2 units to the LM!NOP campaign, which included access to MYTRAK's online suite of health and wellness software that connects users with a team of lifestyle program advisors and community based support. Newark high school students will be rewarded based on their level of activity and in addition to the winners receiving a concert by a top musician, other prizes will include Nets Basketball tickets and Zumba® DVDs to designer apparel from ENYCE and high-end TRX® Suspension Training® equipment.
"It is shocking that 64 percent of Newark's elementary school children are obese or morbidly obese. Some 44 percent of our children aged three to 19 are overweight. If we are going to have a stronger city, we must have healthier children. We have challenged our high school students to live healthier lifestyles through this competition. Let's move toward a stronger and healthier Newark!" said Mayor Booker.
Jeff's expertise Behavioral Health/Fitness background paired with Fat Joe's music influence and the First Lady's Let's Move! Campaign will bring our nation one step closer in the fight against childhood obesity. LM!NOP is powered by MYTRAK and sponsored by ENYCE, a Sean Combs Company, Dr. Jay's, Zumba® Fitness, TRX®, Nets Basketball and The American Council on Exercise. For more information or to get involved please visit: http://letsmovenewark.com/lmnop/