Monday, September 14, 2009

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Joins Ad Council and Warner Bros. Pictures to Combat Childhood Overweight and Obesity

“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Ad Council today launched a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) designed to address childhood overweight and obesity. Featuring characters from the upcoming film Where the Wild Things Are, the PSAs are an extension of HHS’ Childhood Overweight and Obesity Prevention campaign with the Ad Council, which encourages children and families to lead healthy lifestyles. The ads are being distributed to media outlets nationwide this week. According to HHS’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980, with more than 9 million school age children over the age of 6 in the U.S. considered overweight. In addition to the psychological and social issues of stigmatization, overweight children are at far greater risk of growing into adults who have cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases that may reduce the length and quality of their lives. A recent report also illustrated that the health cost of obesity in the United States is as high as $147 billion annually. Created pro bono by Warner Bros. Pictures, the new TV, radio, print, outdoor and Internet PSAs feature characters and scenes from the film Where the Wild Things Are, directed by Spike Jonze and adapted from Maurice Sendak's classic children's story. The television ads feature the film’s young hero, Max, running, jumping and having fun in the wild with various creatures from the story. The campaign encourages kids to start their own ‘Wild Rumpus’ by finding time to play every day and touts the benefits of regular physical activity. All of the PSAs conclude with a call-to-action – ‘The Wild is Out There, Did You Play Today?’ and urge families to visit for great play ideas. The website provides fun, interactive and helpful information on physical activity and healthy eating. […]”

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