Health + Safety

Elmo And Friends Encourage Kids To Eat Their Veggies

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Last week first lady, Michelle Obama, announced that the non-profit organization behind Sesame Street has agreed to let the produce industry use their beloved characters free of charge to market fresh fruits and veggies to kids.

Under the agreement with the Produce Marketing Association, Sesame Workshop will waive their licensing fee for their Muppet characters for two years. That means Elmo, Big Bird and the rest of the gang will be taking up residence in your produce section on stand-alone signs, stickers, and labels for everything from bags and cartons to fruit in its own skin.

This agreement comes after a study published last fall in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine conducted at Cornell University gave more than 200 children, aged 8-11, a choice of eating a cookie an apple or both. Unsurprisingly, most children picked the cookie. Researchers then placed Elmo stickers on the apples and nearly double the number of kids chose fruit.

Mrs. Obama said, “Imagine what it will be like to have our kids begging us to buy them fruits and vegetables instead of cookies, candy and chips.”

The agreement is the latest step by the private sector to support the first lady’s nearly 4-year-old “Let’s Move” campaign to reduce childhood obesity. It is also the first announcement since a summit on food marketing to children where Obama urged companies to do more to promote healthier foods to kids.

(Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)