by Abelardo de la Peña Jr.
- Childhood obesity is a big problem with Latino kids: 22.1% of Mexican American boys, for example, are obese, compared to 18.5% of black boys and 17.3% of white boys (CDC.gov 10.20.09). Enter popular PBS KIDS GO animated characters Maya & Miguel, encouraging children to eat healthy and exercise.
- Players in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Initiative, the cartoon siblings star in the Web-based “Take the Maya and Miguel Challenge,” which includes exercises like push-ups, sit-ups and jumping jacks; quizzes; healthy recipes; and online sports-themed games.
- The Maya & Miguel segments were created in both English and Spanish to leverage the characters’ strong appeal to all Latino families, as well as general audiences (USAToday.com 2.10.10).
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- Latino childhood obesity is a long-term problem requiring effective strategies to engage families and communities and mobilize both the public and private sector.
- Getting young ones interested in their health gets easier when they have role models who lead the way in a fun and interactive fashion.