CNN, AstraZeneca Partner To Fight Obesity

CNN has re-upped with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to sponsor its year-long Fit Nation initiative to combat obesity.

The Surgeon General has said that childhood obesity is an epidemic on track to become the nation's biggest health problem.

CNN is in the midst of a year-long news series examining that epidemic, but will go beyond that to encourage viewers to exercise in a "Challenge America" initiative that will launch in March.

The FCC has encouraged the media to join with government and the health community to tackle the problem. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate last year joined with Sen. Sam Brownback to create an obesity task force to spearhead that effort.

In addition to getting on-air sponsorship ads in the series, AstraZeneca will get ad opportunities on the Fit Nation Website, and branding on the mobile trailer that will travel the country as part of the challenge. The goal is to get a commitment for a collective 500,000 more hours of exercise from viewers, which CNN says will add a million hours of life expectancy.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.