Partnered with sponsor bottled water company Glaceau, rapper 50 Cent is working to help fight childhood obesity.
According to a report in The Washington Post, 50 Cent is teaming up with Glaceau to judge a national student cook-off, where contestants compete to make a “nutrient rich” school lunch.
The contest is traveling through cities including Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, Detroit, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York.
“It’s good that they’re going to urban areas,” David Blanco, a personal trainer in Washington, D.C. said. “It’s those places that have high concentrations of kids not getting healthy food.”
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, in a study called “The Role of Economics in Eating Choices and Weight Outcomes,” men who live in urban areas believe that their body weight is healthy, when it actually is not, and they are “actually overweight or obese.”
“In a lot of inner-city areas, it’s easy to get cheap, fattening food,” Blanco said. “If you don’t have a lot of money or time, it’s an effort to get fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains.”
The cook-off, which began Tuesday, April 25, in Houston, and concludes in New York on June 8, will provide semi-finalists’ schools with $5,000 for their nutritional program, and the ultimate winner will receive a $100,000 college scholarship.
50 Cent’s involvement is “great,” says Shaunda Grisby, a senior majoring in biology pre-med at Howard University. “A lot of kids look up to him, and for him to be putting across a positive message about something as important as healthy eating is really impressive.”
One year ago, McDonald’s announced that they would pay $1-$5 for every time a rap song mentioning the Big Mac sandwich is played on the radio, according to AllHipHop.com. This drew fire from critics, who say that despite the company’s progress in offering salad and fruit, they are still targeting children who are not yet ready to make healthy choices.
“I’m glad that the McDonald’s plan fell through,” Grisby said, referencing the fact that McDonald’s was unable to find an “appropriate song.” “It’s horrible to exploit kids like that when they don’t know better. At least 50’s effort €” however profit-motivated €” is for positive change.”
Glaceau is the manufacturer of 50’s grape-flavored Vitamin Water bottled water, “Formula 50” which, according to the website, contains fifty percent of many daily nutrient requirements. “Inspired by a certain, hip, hot artist, ‘Formula 50’ brings a serious entourage of vitamins,” reads the copy.