October 20, 2005
Oct 20

Press Release: Partnership Announced with Nickelodeon to Fight Childhood Obesity

New York
Press Release

Former President Clinton featured in a Nick News Town Hall Special November 13 on Nickelodeon.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative of the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association, announced today that it has entered into a partnership with Nickelodeon’s award-winning “Let’s Just Play” pro-social campaign to combat the spread of childhood obesity. The three organizations are combining forces on a comprehensive media and public awareness campaign, encouraging young people to engage in healthy and active lifestyles.

The new partnership will provide the necessary tools to empower children and families to be agents of change in their communities through grassroots activities, events, and programming support through multiple media platforms. This movement will increase awareness among young people about the importance of eating well and being physically active.

Nickelodeon will utilize its multimedia platforms and the “Let’s Just Play” campaign to reach millions of young people across the country and to spread the message of the Healthiest Generation movement. The network will also produce a series of public service announcements (PSAs) featuring former President Clinton and Governor Mike Huckabee as well as young people and other individuals.

“I look forward to continuing our work with the American Heart Association and I welcome Nickelodeon as a partner of our alliance in this fight against childhood obesity,” said President Clinton. “This issue is very close to me. As a child, I was overweight and have struggled with my weight all my life. After my bypass surgery last year, I wanted to develop a program for young people so they know about the dangers of eating poorly and living an unhealthy lifestyle and also so they know that there are options available to eat right and exercise. Nickelodeon has been active in this area for quite a while, and this partnership will be a great team, bringing the issue of childhood obesity to the forefront of health consciousness and will help America’s youth get involved to create their own healthy lifestyles.”

“We are believers in big ideas at Nickelodeon and the goal of motivating kids to become a healthier generation is a huge opportunity for all of us,” said Herb Scannell, President, Nickelodeon Networks and Vice Chairman, MTV Networks. “We want to do more than attack the obesity epidemic. Through this partnership with the Clinton Foundation and American Heart Association, we want kids to become personally invested in living strong, healthy lives. And if we do our jobs right, kids will believe that being healthy is cool.”

“President Clinton and I may not share political affiliations,” Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said, “but we do share a common hometown, a common background in struggling personally with good eating habits, and a common commitment to help the children of America grow up to be healthy and live long and productive lives. We believe children are far more important than anyone's politics.”

“Our vision of a healthier generation relies on more than just a public awareness campaign,” said American Heart Association President Robert Eckel. “It relies on a movement that inspires kids – all kids, not just overweight ones – to make this issue their own and to find their own solutions. We need to empower kids to make healthy choices – because it will make them run faster, jump higher and think smarter. Not because a bunch of adults told them it’s good for them. Nickelodeon’s involvement will bring us closer to realizing our vision.”

Following the announcement, President Clinton participated in a town hall meeting with young people from around the country. Together, they discussed issues surrounding childhood obesity and the steps they can take to help each other live healthier, more active lifestyles. The program, hosted by Linda Ellerbee, will be aired on November 13 as part of a Nick News Special: The Fight to be Fit, and will serve as a call to action to encourage young people to take an active part in building a movement combating obesity and promoting healthy lifestyles.

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Learn more about our work at http://www.clintonfoundation.org/about, on Facebook at Facebook.com/ClintonFoundation and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.

About Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon has committed more than $28 million and 10% of its air to health and wellness messaging. Nick recently held its second annual Worldwide Day of Play on Oct. 1 where the network went dark to encourage kids to engage in healthy and fun activities. As part of the “Let’s Just Play” campaign, Nick is giving away more than $1 million this year through the “Let’s Just Play Giveaway.”

Nickelodeon, now in its 26th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 89 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for more than ten consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.