SOURCE: W. Atlee Burpee & Co.

W. Atlee Burpee & Co.

January 04, 2011 17:24 ET

The War on Childhood Obesity Won in the Vegetable Garden, Says Burpee Garden Company

WARMINSTER, PA--(Marketwire - January 4, 2011) - George Ball, Chairman and CEO of national gardening brand W. Atlee Burpee & Company (, dubs 2011 the "Year of the Vegetable" in an op-ed piece featured in the Wall Street Journal's opinion pages. The piece, published on January 3, 2011, offers Mr. Ball's fresh perspective on helping solve the childhood obesity epidemic -- by getting kids (and their families) to eat more vegetables. The best way to achieve this, Mr. Ball asserts, is for parents to involve their children in vegetable gardening. 

Click here to read Mr. Ball's op-ed piece.

"In our research at W. Atlee Burpee, we have found that kids who grow vegetables alongside their parents eat them regularly and with gusto," writes Mr. Ball. 

The Burpee company found, in a 2009 poll of their garden customers, that 93 percent of respondents believe that children who engage in vegetable gardening with their parents are more likely to take an interest in eating vegetables.

A lifelong gardener and horticulturist, Mr. Ball is a strong advocate for the benefits of gardening with children. He is credited with initiating a national children's gardening program in 1993, along with numerous other children's garden initiatives across the country, while President of the American Horticultural Society.

"With one in every three children in the U.S. either overweight or obese, it's clear this epidemic is now the nation's disease. I am optimistic that 2011 will represent the beginning of a nutritional revolution in this country," says Mr. Ball.

George Ball is a past president of the American Horticultural Society (AHS) and the current chairman and CEO of W. Atlee Burpee & Co. 

For more information on gardening with children, please visit our Kid's Gardening page.

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About Burpee: W. Atlee Burpee & Co. was founded in 1876 and is based in Warminster, Pennsylvania. Today, Burpee is the largest, most progressive seed company in the United States, offering seeds, garden plants and gardening supplies through the Burpee website at, direct-mail catalogs, and via retail garden centers throughout the country. 

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