Michigan Surgeon General Commends Cookie Monster: Salutes Sesame Street's Smart Snacking Season

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

April 19, 2005

Michigan’s Surgeon General and the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) formally recognized the entire Sesame Street cast and crew today for making a positive step toward promoting healthy lifestyles to children and caregivers.

Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, Michigan Surgeon General, praised the Emmy award-winning children’s program in a letter outlining the state of Michigan’s appreciation and support.

“I am delighted to see that that this positive message may be heard early in life through the new and wonderful programming you have to offer,” Wisdom said in a letter to the Sesame Workshop. “Thanks again for your efforts to ensure that the United States and Michigan are healthy places to live, learn, and grow.”

Sesame Street will kick off its 36th season with a multi-year story about healthy habits. The show features a mixture of new characters, such as talking eggplants and carrots, appearances by guest stars who will address healthy activities, and new songs like "A Cookie Is a Sometimes Food”.

“Sesame Street is the world’s largest informal educator of children, with approximately eight million people in the U.S. tuning in each week,” said Janet Olszewski, MDCH Director. “With national and local healthy living agendas being so important to our collective future, it is gratifying to see such support from a reputable and far-reaching source."

This move demonstrates the power of a concerted effort by researchers, the entertainment industry, government, and public health to influence social norms and positively promote healthy lifestyles. “Michigan Steps Up” – a statewide healthy lifestyles campaign initiated by Wisdom – urges citizens of all ages to move more, eat better, and quit smoking.

Additional information on healthy lifestyles can be found at the Michigan Steps Up website at www.michiganstepsup.org or www.michigan.gov/mdch. Specific details on Sesame’s Healthy Habits for Life Initiative can be found at www.sesameworkshop.org.