First lady Michelle Obama promotes good diet, exercise in Walt Disney public service spots

By Darlene Superville, AP
Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Michelle Obama promotes health in Disney campaign

WASHINGTON — World famous for her White House vegetable garden, first lady Michelle Obama is sharing her expertise in a Walt Disney Co. ad campaign designed to show parents and children that eating well and exercising can be fun, too.

“Eating better and getting more active is easier than you think,” Mrs. Obama says in the first of eight public service spots she’s starring in as part of Disney’s “Magic of Healthy Living” campaign. The entertainment company planned to announce the campaign Thursday.

The first lady appears with various Disney stars, including Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers and Brenda Song, of the Disney Channel’s “The Suite Life on Deck.”

In another of the ads, she helps other Disney stars who want to plant a garden.

“You don’t need a big backyard or even pots to start your own garden,” Mrs. Obama says. “All you need is sunlight, water and a little imagination. So let’s get moving and get planting because a great way to get fresh, healthy produce is to grow it yourself.”

Mrs. Obama launched her own campaign this year, called “Let’s Move,” to raise public awareness about the country’s childhood obesity problem. One in three American children are overweight or obese, increasing their risk of developing life-altering illnesses like diabetes.

Disney’s new campaign includes a yearlong series of public service announcements airing on the Disney Channel, Disney XD, Radio Disney, and on the ABC television network. The ads will also air on the Ad Council’s network of 1,700 stations.

Besides the ads, Disney has created two websites focused on healthy living — one for children and one for parents — and is sponsoring a national essay contest for kids. Fifty winners are to spend a weekend at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

The company is also investing $1 million to help build playgrounds and gardens in 10 underserved communities nationwide.

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