Television

Nick US to air special show with former US president Clinton

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MUMBAI: Nick US has announced that in a special edition of Nick News With Linda Ellerbee: The Fight to be Fit, former US President Bill Clinton joins Ellerbee, and a room full of kids to talk about the barriers to getting fit and how kids might break them down. The show airs on 13 November 2005.

As had been recently reported by Indiantelevision.com The Alliance for a Healthier Generation -- a joint initiative of the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association to prevent childhood obesity entered into a partnership with Nickelodeon. The three organisations are combining forces on a media and public awareness campaign to encourage young people to engage in healthy and active lifestyles. The above mentioned special kicks off the effort and will engage kids to take an active part in building a movement combating obesity and promoting healthy lifestyles.

Ellerbe says, "The challenge is to persuade kids to care about their bodies now. One of

the benefits of living fit is living a long time, but to kids, a long time is a long time from now. We tell them the truth: they need to care because in the end no one else may. And they tell us what we can do to help them. The solutions to the obesity crisis -- the health crisis facing kids in general -- may be simple, but they're not easy."

Clinton says, "Spending time with these kids and participating in the Nick News special provided me with an opportunity to tell kids face to face that we need their

generation to lead us in this fight to be healthy". He candidly talks to kids during the special about the fact he was an overweight child. "I can identify with kids who have a problem controlling their weight and staying healthy. After my heart surgery, which was a wake-up call for me, I decided I needed to do something to help kids be

healthier."

He tells kids that later he began to exercise and got his weight down, but didn't really change his eating habits until after his heart surgery in 2004. The kids, Clinton and Ellerbee talk about what influences their decisions

about eating; who chooses what they have for meals, if there are healthy choices in their cafeterias, whether junk food in school cafeterias should be banned (Clinton thinks it should), whether the food industry has any

responsibility for the rise in childhood obesity and related health problems, what part exercise plays in their lives (if any), whether they still have regular Physical Education in their schools (many do not), and the abundance of time today's kids spend in front of their television sets, their computers and their video games. Ellerbee suggests that the TV should be truned off more often.

The special also highlights Chandler, a 13 year-old from Georgia. She started an initiative called Athletics Plus Kids Equals Academics (AKA) to increase awareness of childhood obesity, bring back physical education (PE) classes in schools and provide healthier options in school cafeterias. Created in response to her school only allowing her to take PE for one semester, Chandler has visited and written letters to her state senators to ask them to make PE mandatory in schools and most recently addressed health and government officials, including the surgeon general, at the National Healthy Kids Summit in Washington, DC, where she was the only kid in attendance.

Also featured is the Children's Health Improvement Programme. This is a group of Latino kids from Chicago that promote health by going into communities and educating kids on diabetes prevention, reading food labels and the importance of exercise. Many of the kids in the group are struggling with their own weight and they know that Latinos are a high risk group for heart disease and diabetes.

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