Tackling Childhood Obesity through Media

Two PBS stations in New York State undertook the challenge of addressing the ongoing childhood obesity epidemic through innovative programming, advertising, and fun activities for families. They involved local community partners that helped to generate targeted programming and advertising; web content; community forums; and activities for children, such as creating healthy meals and counting their steps with the use of pedometers.

Hezel Associates worked with the two stations to identify communication strategies, both within the project and with the larger community, that could be fine-tuned to spread their message effectively. Our team demonstrated the nature of positive change experienced by children participating in program activities, which preliminarily included a desire to do more physical activities. The evaluation efforts bolstered the stations’ ability to show other broadcasting stations that the campaign could be effectively replicated, enhancing its reach and positive impact on children.