CINCINNATI, March 30 As part of its commitment to enhancing public health and offering healthy food and snacking options, Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: CQB) today announced a partnership with HealthCorps(®) - a proactive health movement founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz. Oz is the host of the nationally syndicated talk show, "The Dr. Oz Show," and vice-chair and professor of surgery at Columbia University Medical Center. The partnership includes a financial and resource commitment by Chiquita to HealthCorps and the sponsorship of at least four segments on "The Dr. Oz Show," the first of which airs March 31.
"For Chiquita, this partnership with Dr. Oz and HealthCorps is a natural extension of our promotion of healthy lifestyles and helping to reduce childhood obesity," said Fernando Aguirre, chairman and chief executive officer of Chiquita. "We are helping empower parents to tackle this obesity epidemic with convenient healthy products for their children. Our natural bananas have always been an ideal and nutritious snacking option, and now our pineapple, apple-grape and carrot bites provide additional healthy snacking choices that kids crave."
"I'm grateful for Chiquita's support in helping us reach kids and teens to show them how small positive changes in their diets can make a huge difference in their physical and emotional health," said HealthCorps Founder and Chairman, Dr. Oz. "Teens need to learn about healthy eating at a young age so that they can create proper eating habits to last a lifetime. Chiquita has developed some really fantastic healthy snacking products that make that possible."
The four television episodes will demonstrate how making simple lifestyle choices can help Americans stay healthy and avoid chronic diseases associated with obesity, a condition that tends to form early in life and is ravaging many American cities. Over the course of four months, viewers will follow the progress of six students from New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn who are determined to embrace healthier eating and physical activity regimens. The HealthCorps curriculum on nutrition, fitness and mental resilience is established at the school and carried out by a full time Health Coordinator, a recent college graduate serving as a health educator and mentor who will work with Dr. Oz. Since its debut on Sept. 14, "The Dr. Oz Show" has enjoyed the highest rated syndication premiere in seven years and grown its audience by 35 percent. Teaching viewers and audience members about a broad range of health topics, "The Dr. Oz Show" uses humor and visuals to impart vital health information in getting more Americans energized in choosing healthier lifestyle options.
Chiquita's healthy snacking platform provides convenient options for children of all ages as well as adults. Chiquita Bananas(®) have been a natural ready-to-eat snacking option for more than a hundred years, and now Pineapple Bites(®), Apple Bites(®), Apple & Grape Bites(®), as well as Carrot Bites(®) provide consumers further choices.
Backed by Chiquita, HealthCorps will intensify work on its three priorities - educating the student body, achieving community outreach through "FitTown" - an initiative to connect and empower citizens and organizations to bring about awareness and affect change through local projects and initiatives and advocating for policy shifts across all levels of government that put health and physical education back into the core curriculum of the American education system. With a network that spans 50 high schools in nine states, including Arizona, California, Mississippi and New York, HealthCorps now reaches about 25,000 students and approximately 50,000 school staff, family and community members through its national program. Health Corps is like a Peace Corps for health - its core mission is to empower teens and communities to become agents of change and help the country reach the tipping point towards wellness now and for the future. As part of the organization's mandate, the school program extends to the community through health festivals and liaisons with local health resources and nonprofits who share HealthCorps' mission. Chiquita will take an active part in these activities throughout 2010 and beyond.
As part of its comprehensive healthy lifestyle marketing campaigns, Chiquita also announced its financial support for the United Fresh "Salad Bar in Every School" campaign as well as its public support for Mrs. Obama's child anti-obesity campaign "Let's Move" earlier this year.
About Chiquita Brands International, Inc.
Chiquita Brands International, Inc. is a leading international marketer and distributor of high-quality fresh and value-added food products - from energy-rich bananas and other fruits to nutritious blends of convenient green salads. The company markets its healthy, fresh products under the Chiquita® and Fresh Express® premium brands and other related trademarks. With annual revenues of $3.5 billion, Chiquita employs approximately 21,000 people and has operations in nearly 80 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit www.chiquitabrands.com.
HealthCorps empowers students to become educated consumers and health activists who take their message to underserved communities with upbeat events, such as the month-long Healthy Steps virtual race using pedometers and the community-based "Highway to Health" Festivals. The HealthCorps Board of Directors includes medical practitioners such as Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. David Katz (Yale), Dr. Michael Roizen (Cleveland Clinic), Dr. Brian Wansink (Cornell), Dr. Laura Berman and many other renowned health experts. Proceeds from funds raised are used to establish the HealthCorps curriculum in additional high schools across the country. A 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization, HealthCorps currently receives no Federal funding. Total funding is garnered through a combination of state, city, private foundation, corporate and individual contributions. For more information, please visit www.healthcorps.org.
About "The Dr. Oz Show"
"The Dr. Oz Show" is an entertaining, high octane, multi topic hour hosted by Dr. Oz, vice-chair of the Department of Surgery and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University. He directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital and performs 250 heart operations annually. His research interests include heart replacement surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, complementary medicine and health care policy. He has authored over 400 original publications, book chapters, and medical books and has received several patents. "The Dr. Oz Show" is executive produced by Mindy Borman; Amy Chiaro is co-executive producer, and has been cleared in 100 of the top 100 markets in over 99% of the country. The show is filmed in front of a studio audience in Studio 6A in New York's legendary Rockefeller Center. "The Dr. Oz Show" is co-produced by Harpo Productions and Sony Pictures Television (SPT) and distributed by SPT. For more information, please visit www.doctoroz.com.
SOURCE Chiquita Brands International, Inc.