(WHITAKER BANK BALLPARK, Lexington, Ky.) The Lexington Legends are taking on a tough opponent - Kentucky's childhood obesity problem.
The Legends, in conjunction with ARAMARK, their food service provider, and the Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition, are participating in the coalition's Better Bites program by offering Better Bites combos during Legends games at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.
Kentucky has the third highest rate of childhood obesity and the sixth highest rate of adult obesity in the nation, reports TNFC. One in three Kentucky children is already overweight or obese, increasing their risk of developing chronic diseases that are likely to reduce the quality and length of their lives.
"Many factors contribute to Kentucky's obesity epidemic and it will take a variety of approaches by many segments of the community to address it successfully," said Anita Courtney, chair of TNFC. "One of the most promising strategies to combat the obesity epidemic is to make healthy food more accessible. Concession stands run by recreational facilities are prime venues to begin making this shift, particularly those that serve a high percentage of children."
A Better Bites combo at Whitaker Bank Ballpark contains less than 400 calories. For example, one of the combos includes a Smucker's Uncrustable (a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the crust), a choice of whole fruit or Sun Chips, and a 20 oz. bottle of water.
The Legends currently are phasing in Better Bites meals, and as of Memorial Day, those are the exclusive offering for kids' combo meals at the ballpark, including the "Kids Eat Free" night during every Monday night home game.
"We are happy to be one of the first large venues in Lexington to participate in the Better Bites program," said Adam Zann, General Manager, ARAMARK at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. "Our support of this program is part of our commitment to offer a wide array of dining options that enhance the dining and game day experience for all fans."
The concession stand at the Home Depot Kids Area, located on the left field side beyond the seating bowl, will be devoted to helping children "Snack Strong" and in addition to the concession items, will offer more information about Better Bites and healthy eating.
The Legends also will raise awareness of the Better Bites program with promotions and announcements during each home game.