BET Urges Core Viewers to Slim Down

ATLANTA Black Entertainment Television has partnered with General Mills to launch a nationwide campaign to promote healthy lifestyles and eating habits among BET’s audience.

Washington, D.C.-based BET has established the nonprofit BET Foundation to produce public service announcements, collateral materials and interactive initiatives. General Mills of Minneapolis assisted with the in-house development of print and interactive projects.

Debra Lee, president and chief operating officer at BET, said that one of the primary objectives of the new campaign is to lower the obesity rate of African Americans females. The American Obesity Association reports that 78 percent of black women are overweight. Among black teens, 46 percent are overweight, according to the association.

“To say that this is an important endeavor is an understatement,” added Lee. “The statistics indicate that the time has come to take action.”

PSAs featuring rhythm and blues recording artist Kelly Price will air later this month on the BET and BET Jazz channels, the media company said. The Web site, www.bet.com/ahealthybet, also goes live later this month. The BET Foundation will hold free public seminars in support of its initiative in various cities. Brochures, cooking guides and other collateral materials are in development, the company added.

A toll-free hotline, 1-866-3LOSE IT, also has been activated to handle inquiries and process requests for brochures and additional literature.