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CMU School of Design, Eat’n Park Partner to Fight Childhood Obesity

Fitwits is a fun, hands-on program, launching Aug. 1, designed to inform kids and families about healthy eating and active living.

The Carnegie Mellon University School of Design Fitwits project and Pittsburgh-based Restaurants are joining forces to fight rising obesity rates.

Fitwits is a fun, hands-on program designed to inform kids and families about healthy eating and active living, according to a release. The game encourages families to interact with each other, ask questions and discuss health in a fun and engaging way.

Starting Monday, and for the next five weeks, Eat’n Park will introduce the Fitwits program to guests by offering a series of five Fitwits collectible character cards to families. Each card contains nutritional information, recipes, trivia and memory triggers to teach children about appropriate portion sizes.

During those five weeks, or while supplies last, families at Eat’n Park can request a free Fitwits Memory Game and Recipe Cards.

In addition, families can participate in Fitwits’ first-ever text-messaging game called “Road Trip with Elvis,” which allows families to advise Fitwits character Elvis Pretzley how to make healthy choices during his busy travel schedule.

“For the past four years, our team has worked to improve health communication and education for kids,” said Carnegie Mellon Associate Professor of Design Kristin Hughes, in a statement.

“Increased health literacy and an understanding of nutrition provide the basic foundation needed to learn new skills that will help individuals identify and change bad habits, making them proactive participants in their own families’ health. By changing the way people think about nutrition, we can change our communities for the better.”

The Fitwits partnership is the most recent element in Eat’n Park’s LifeSmiles initiative, a five-year, $1 million commitment to children’s health and wellness. 

This comprehensive, community-wide wellness program is framed around the four pillars of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign.

“Eat’n Park is committed to giving families the resources and knowledge they need to make healthier choices. Because of that, we think it’s very important to support and amplify successful health initiatives like Fitwits,” according to Eat’n Park’s Senior Vice President of Food and Beverage Brooks Broadhurst.

“An important element of LifeSmiles is empowering our guests with choices and Fitwits provides a great, easy-to-understand dialogue about healthy choices. We’re proud of this partnership.”

Fitwits is a collaborative project between CMU’s School of Design and UPMC St. Margaret Family Health Centers. The Fitwits and Eat’n Park partnership to fight childhood obesity was made possible by a $125,000 grant from the Heinz Endowments. Additionally, Open Science Initiative developed the text message game, and Tropo donated all text-messaging services.

For more information, visit www.fitwits.org.

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