Clinton jumps on Nick's health train

Bill Clinton will be the newest face in Nickelodeon's growing campaign to encourage wholesome eating and an active lifestyle for America's increasingly obese youth, the Associated Press has reported.

Prompted by PBS' "Happy Healthy Summer" initiative, launched this June, Nickelodeon joined the fight for kids' health with the "Let's Just Play" campaign, intended to encourage outdoor activities. The network also made a series of licensing deals in which characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer began to appear on packages of fruits and vegetables.

While you won't see the former president's face grinning on your next bag of broccoli florets, Clinton will spread the gospel of healthy living through public service announcements and a town hall forum moderated by Nick News journalist Linda Ellerbee. The forum, which will cover the urgent problem of childhood obesity, will air on Nickelodeon on November 13.

"The idea that health decisions you make as kids could stop you from living your dream is heartbreaking to us," said Clinton--who underwent quadruple coronary bypass surgery last year--in a joint announcement with Nickelodeon Networks president Herb Scannell, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and American Heart Association president Robert Eckel.

In addition to food endorsements and public service announcements, Nickelodeon will promote its health campaign on Web sites, at theme parks, and in live stage shows, as well as with about $30 million worth of airtime on the network and its affiliates, Scannell stated.

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