What HBO And iCarly Can Do To Get Kids Psyched About Veggies | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

What HBO And iCarly Can Do To Get Kids Psyched About Veggies

We've all seen the scary headlines about the obesity epidemic. And there are no shortage of initiatives aimed at getting Americans — particularly kids — to eat right.

The tricky part is making eating right cool and the sort of habit that kids will want to do for a lifetime.

So what do the earnest health officials who are always talking about this do to get their message to break through? Enlist HBO and iCarly.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention kicked off a conference today here in Washington called Weight of the Nation. And HBO is debuting a multi-part documentary of the same name next week. (You can see the trailer above.) It's not a coincidence.

But HBO is also working to get 100 salad bars up and running in selected schools across the nation by September. We asked HBO's John Hoffman, Executive Producer of the documentary, why salad bars? "Well, when kids reach for it (healthy food) themselves, and opt in, then consumption levels go up." Hoffman told us. And he went on to discuss the science behind the consumption data.

Wait, isn't HBO an entertainment company? I ribbed Hoffman for sounding more like a public policy nerd than an entertainment executive.

"I'm glad you're bringing this up!" Hoffman told me. "We're filling a space that needs to be filled." Hoffman says by turning their lens to this issue of obesity and using the HBO platform for public health, he hopes to really engage audiences around the country. "These campaigns need to be conducted," he says.

Another healthy campaign being launched this week is also a vegetable-eating one.

Who better to convince kids and tweens that eating vegetables is cool than the stars of Nickelodeon's iCarly? That's the plan Birds Eye announced as part of a commitment announced by the Partnership for a Healthier America (The group formed to oversee private sector commitments to the First Lady's Let's Move campaign.) The company says it will spend at least $2 million per year for each of the next three years to market and advertise this campaign on Nickelodeon and other outlets.

"We're not into nagging," Sally Genster Robling, president of Birds Eye Frozen Division told us. "Instead of pushing things at them (kids), we've got to put them in control." And along the way , Genster-Robling says, kids will be invited to help Birds Eye create new veggie products just for kids.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Dec. 25

Merry Christmas from Art Beat! Two shows keep the holiday festivities going through the weekend.

NPR

Inside The Indiana Megadairy Making Coca-Cola's New Milk

Coca-Cola got a lot of attention in November when it announced it was going into the milk business. In fact, its extra-nutritious milk product was invented by some dairy farmers in Indiana.
NPR

What To Expect In The 2016 Presidential Announcement Season

With Jeb Bush signaling he's likely to run for president in 2016, it's another sign that the presidential announcement season is underway. Here's a look at who has jumped in the race early and what to expect in the coming months.
NPR

2014 Hashtags: #BringBackOurGirls Made Nigerian Schoolgirls All Of 'Ours'

As part of a series on hashtag activism in 2014, Audie Cornish speaks with Obiageli Ezekwesili of the Open Society Foundation. Ezekwesili was one of the early promoters of the hashtag #bringbackourgirls, about schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria in April.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.