Print Page  Close Window  

News Release
Superstar Michelle Williams Jumpstarts PepsiCo S.M.A.R.T. Program to Promote Active, Healthy Lifestyles

PepsiCo Partners With KaBOOM! To Build a Smart Spot Playground

CHICAGO – (September 29, 2006) – Michelle Williams, member of Destiny's Child, successful solo recording artist and actress, today is jumpstarting the Chicago PepsiCo S.M.A.R.T. program to promote active, healthy lifestyles by building a new Smart Spot playground at the Tots Express Learning Center at 8942 S. Cottage Grove Avenue. Under the leadership of KaBOOM!, a national non-profit that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America, the playground will be built in just six hours by 200 volunteers from Frito-Lay, Pepsi, Quaker, Tropicana and Gatorade, and the local community. Also scheduled to attend today's event: Illinois State Representative Constance “Connie” Howard and Alderman Freddrenna M. Lyle.

Live S.M.A.R.T.

S.M.A.R.T. stands for five simple steps that encourage active living and better food choices:

  • Start with a healthy breakfast
  • Move more
  • Add more fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Remember to hydrate
  • Try lower calorie or lower fat foods

“Staying healthy requires living an active lifestyle and making better nutritional choices, which is what we at PepsiCo are trying to demonstrate through our S.M.A.R.T. initiative,” said Keith Boyd, Director, Urban Market Development at PepsiCo. “This Smart Spot playground enables kids and their parents to move more, one of the basic principles of the S.M.A.R.T. life.”

Designed to be easy-to-remember, the S.M.A.R.T. steps are based on research by James O. Hill, Ph.D., a developer of the National Weight Control Registry and co-founder of America On the Move. The S.M.A.R.T. steps address both sides of the energy balance equation: managing the calories consumed through food and the calories burned from physical activity. Dr. Hill's research showed the people who were most successful in improving their health didn't make drastic changes. Instead, they did a few basic things that could be easily incorporated into their everyday lives. That is the basis of S.M.A.R.T.

“What I like about PepsiCo's S.M.A.R.T. steps is that they make a healthy lifestyle seem a lot more realistic and achievable for families,” said Williams, who in addition to being an entertainer, is a strong supporter of programs to improve the lives of families and children.

“At Tots Express, we're committed to helping families and the community improve their health and well-being,” said RoShonda Furlow, Founder. “The playground will provide a safe place for the children of Tots Express to play, and help impact the overall wellness of the entire community.”

The S.M.A.R.T. Lifestyle

S.M.A.R.T. is a comprehensive lifestyle program with a number of components including an industry-leading, national advertising campaign that promotes healthy lifestyles beyond products, a free mini-magazine called Everyday SMART Moves, and a comprehensive website in English and Spanish with tips, tools and resources at www.smartspot.com.

PepsiCo is also helping people make better food choices by putting the Smart Spot™ symbol on products that meet nutrition criteria based on authoritative statements from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Academy of Sciences. The Smart Spot symbol appears on more than 250 PepsiCo products including Tropicana Pure Premium, Aquafina, Gatorade, Baked! Lays, Quaker Oatmeal and Diet Pepsi, among many others.

Find Smart Spot Playgrounds Across the Country

PepsiCo and KaBOOM! will build 12 playgrounds by the end of 2006. The playgrounds will be located in Washington, D.C.; Dallas; Phoenix; San Antonio; Chicago (two); Sacramento, Calif.; Little Rock, Ark.; Detroit; Long Beach; New York and Miami.

“At KaBOOM!, we believe in the power of play to help kids grow stronger physically, socially and emotionally,” said Darell Hammond, chief executive officer and co-founder of KaBOOM!. “That's why we're excited to partner with PepsiCo and build Smart Spot playgrounds in communities that want to move more, have fun and live healthier.”

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo is one of the world's largest food and beverage companies, with 2005 annual revenues of more than $32 billion. Its principal businesses include Frito-Lay snacks, Pepsi-Cola beverages, Gatorade sports drinks, Tropicana juices and Quaker foods. Its portfolio includes 17 brands that each generates $1 billion or more in annual retail sales.

About KaBOOM!

Celebrating its ten year anniversary in 2006, KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Over the past decade, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct nearly 1,000 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America. KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including a web portal and online community, regional and national trainings, grants and publications for communities that wish to plan a new playspace on their own. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago, Atlanta and San Mateo, CA. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

About Tots Express Learning Center

Tots Express Learning Center is a child care center and pre-school with a holistic approach to child care and education. Started in 2001, today Tots Express Learning Center serves nearly 75 children, many with teenage parents. Its mission is to provide innovative programs that help children and their families work together and aid children's development, by serving as an extension of the family and an intervention between families in need.