The Bush administration has slashed funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Youth Media Campaign.
"It was not in the president's 2002 budget," said Michael Greenwell, CDC's associate director of communications in Atlanta. "Now it's up to Congress."
Washington has appropriated $125 million for the first year of the program, aimed at developing healthy habits in youngsters, 9-13.
Requests for proposals have been issued. More than 200 agencies have expressed interest, supplying credentials for a general market effort as well as a separate program targeting minority youth. A winner is expected to be named by July.
"We are moving ahead with developing the campaign," Greenwell said.