The Wild Things are joining the fight against childhood weight and obesity problems. In a new PSA campaign, characters from the upcoming theatrical movie "Where the Wild Things Are" encourage children and their families to lead healthy lifestyles.
The PSAs, created pro bono by Warner Bros. Pictures, are a of continuation of the successful Childhood Obesity Prevention campaign launched in 2005 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Ad Council. The TV, radio, print, outdoor and internet effort features characters and scenes from "Where the Wild Things Are," scheduled to open nationwide Oct. 16, and showcase the film's star, Max Records, playing in the wild with various creatures from the classic Maurice Sendak story.
The effort encourages children to start their own "Wild Rumpus" by finding time to play every day and promotes the benefits of regular physical activity. Each ad ends with a call to action, "The Wild is out there; did you play today?" Families are encouraged to visit smallstep.gov for play ideas and information on physical activity and healthy eating.
More than 9 million U.S. children older than 6 are considered overweight, triple the number in 1980, according to the HHS' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, overweight children face social and psychological problems due to stigmatization and are at far greater risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases as adults. A recent report put the health cost of obesity in the U.S. as high as $147 billion annually.
"Warner Bros. applauds the ongoing efforts of HHS and the Ad Council to protect the health of children with campaigns like this, designed to appeal to them on a personal level. As part of that effort, we're happy to offer images from "Where the Wild Things Are" to remind kids that being a Wild Thing means going outside to play," said Gene Garlock, senior VP-promotions for Warner Bros. Pictures Worldwide Marketing, in announcing the effort.