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Healthy SD announces Facebook game grand prize winner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 27, 2011
CONTACT: Kristin Biskeborn, (605) 734-4551
Healthy SD announces Facebook game grand prize winner
Game encourages South Dakotans to identify healthy foods and choose healthier snacks at the concession stand
PIERRE, S.D. – HealthySD has spent the summer partnering with concessionaires across the state and has created an online game to teach South Dakotans a new way to think about food, particularly snacks at the concession stand. The Facebook game introduced players to the “Munch Code,” a color-coding system of categorizing food while keeping portion size and proportion in mind. Regular drawings for active play games, sports equipment and camping gear were awarded all summer long with a grand prize drawing for a BMX bike held on August 31st.
The grand prize winner, Anthony Rivera, a sixth grader from Pierre received his bike earlier this month. The game was advertised on Facebook reaching over 211,000 Facebook users, generating over 625 “likes” and awarding 9 runner-up prizes to kids across the state. Prizes were donated by local businesses wanting to support healthy choices. Although the contest has ended, the game is still live on the Healthy SD Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MunchCodeSD and players are still eligible for random monthly prize drawings.
“Many South Dakota families spend time together on the go and at sporting events. Often the only snacks or meals available are from the concession stand,” said Kristin Biskeborn, State Nutritionist for the Department of Health. “The Munch Code game was a great way to get moms and dads to involve their kids and start thinking about food and snack options in a different way.”
Biskeborn went on to say that the program was developed to help promote the HealthySD Concessions Model Policy. “Improving concession stand offerings is a first step toward creating a healthier food environment for South Dakotans. Our goal is to work with concessionaires to spread the word about what foods fall into the Red (not so much), Yellow (just a little) and Green (eat a bunch) categories. Ultimately we want to encourage people to take responsibility for what they eat and know the proper proportions, but we need to have the support of the concessionaire to help us get there. The model policy identifies common barriers, outlines strategies and gives the vendor tools and ideas so they can take the first step toward providing healthier choices.”
With childhood obesity and diet related health risks becoming more apparent with each new study, Biskeborn suggested that we have to approach the issue from a number of angles. “Not only do we need to remind parents and kids about healthy food choices, but we need to partner with concessionaires, coaches, teachers, vendors, and entire communities to help us keep healthy choices not only on people’s minds, but available as well,” she said.
Copies of the Healthy South Dakota Model Policy and related Munch Code promotional materials are available by contacting the Department of Health. More information is also available at www.HealthySD.gov or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MunchCodeSD.
Healthy SD has developed a number of programs designed to help motivate South Dakotans to make healthier food choices and be more active. If you'd like ideas or more information on existing programs to help you stay active, please visit www.Facebook.com/HealthyChallengesSD, or www.HealthySD.gov
Reducing child obesity is a key performance measure of the department’s Health 2020 initiative.
EDITORS: For a photo of the Anthony Rivera with his prize or for screen shots of the Munch Code game, email Barb.Buhler@state.sd.us.