Raul Gonzalez, Ana Maria Canseco and Fernando Arau are the latest celebrities to don the milk mustache as part of a new initiative to promote eating breakfast and drinking milk as an effective and healthy way to lose weight

Washington, DC--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--January 9, 2006--Raul Gonzalez, Ana Maria Canseco and Fernando Arau, the charismatic morning anchors of Spanish language television’s leading morning show, Despierta America, which airs on Univision Network have joined forces with the Milk Processors Education Program (MilkPEP) with the catchy slogan ”¡Al que Madruga, la leche lo ayuda!” (The early morning drinkers make it happen!) to promote the effective strategy of eating breakfast and drinking milk as an important means of helping Hispanics across the country lose and maintain weight. This message is key since according to the Centers for Disease control (CDC), more than 1/3 of Hispanics are currently obese.

Claudia Gonzalez, a renowned Hispanic registered nutritionist, who was the previous Hispanic spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (ADA), emphasized: “Given the high index readings for obese Hispanics and the fact that they are predisposed to certain diseases, educating them about good nutrition becomes even more essential. When people set out to lose weight it is a common thought that breakfast should be eliminated; this is a grave error.”” A 2004 study by Patricia Lockyear indicated that as Hispanics spent more time in the United States, the quality of their diet was reduced. 64% of the participants in the study indicated that they had eliminated breakfast from their diet after moving to the United States.

The Experts
A growing body of evidence indicates two things your mom always told you – eat a good breakfast and drink your milk – could be a powerful combination to help achieve and maintain a healthy weight. “Eating a healthy breakfast and drinking recommended amounts of milk each day are two habits that hold tremendous potential for supporting successful weight loss and maintenance,” according to renowned obesity researcher James O. Hill, PhD, who presented the latest research on the role of breakfast and milk in managing weight. “They’re two small steps that could make a significant difference.”

Nutrition consultant Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD, author of the new book 10 Habits That Mess Up a Woman’s Diet (McGraw-Hill, January 2006) says, “Two of the most common diet mistakes women make when trying to lose weight is skipping breakfast and avoiding dairy products. Some women forgo breakfast as a way to cut calories, but this strategy could backfire, she added. “In fact, some studies show that people who skip breakfast actually consume more calories over the course of the day. While breakfast skippers tend to catch up on calories by eating more later in the day, research shows that they fail to make up for the nutrient shortfall – particularly calcium, iron, folic acid and fiber “.

Advice from The Despierta Celebrities
Raúl Gonzalez of Despierta America, who recently lost a lot of weight himself, commented:” I decided to become a spokesman for the Hispanic milk mustache campaign because, as professionals, we have two big responsibilities. One is to entertain, mainly on the type of program we do. The other is to inform. I think that Latinos need to be conscious about their nutritional habits. I recently have wanted to improve my health and I have done it by including milk in my daily diet” he says.

“I think it’s a big mistake to eliminate breakfast” states Fernando Arau. “The longest period in which the stomach doesn’t receive any food is during the night. It’s like fasting. That’s why it’s important in the morning to have a “break fast.” Maybe the other meals nourish you but the first one of the day is the one that will give you the most energy for the entire day. So, it’s very important to drink milk then”.

Ana Maria shares her morning breakfast routine with us: “I have to start my day very early to make sure I’m ready for the Despierta America show. Each morning, I make sure that I eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast to jumpstart my day that includes milk. Whether it’s in a “café con leche”, a protein shake with milk, or a tropical fruit smoothie. I always add fat-free milk. As an anchor of Despierta, I feel I can set a good example for all those other women who view us each morning. And if you’re trying to lose those extra pounds and you’re not getting the calcium you need – like most women – including 24 ounces of milk in your reduced-calorie diet may just tip the scales in your favor!” For more information in Spanish, please visit http://www.2424leche.com

The National Milk Mustache "got milk?"(R) Campaign is jointly funded by America's milk processors and dairy farmers: the MilkPEP Board in Washington, D.C., and Dairy Management Inc., Rosemont, Illinois. The goal of the multi-faceted campaign is to educate consumers on the benefits of milk and to raise milk consumption. A series of educational brochures is available by visiting the milk Web site at http://www.whymilk.com. Lowe is the creative agency for The National Milk Mustache "got milk?"(R) Campaign.

The tagline "got milk?"(R) was created for the California Milk Processor Board by Goodby Silverstein & Partners and is licensed by the national milk processor and dairy producer groups.

NOTE TO EDITORS: A high-resolution image is available at: http://www.hispanicprwire.com/home.php?l=in

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