Michael F. Easley

The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina Carmen Hooker Odom

North Carolina
Department of Health and Human Services

For Release: IMMEDIATE
Date: February 7, 2007

  Contact: Carol Schriber

Eat Smart, Move More and Kasey Kahne take the obesity fight to NASCAR

RALEIGH – During the weeks before the upcoming Daytona 500, NASCAR fans will get to see one of the sport’s rising stars, Kasey Kahne, join the fight against obesity in a new series of TV advertisements. The race car driver will star in ads for Eat Smart, Move More…North Carolina to encourage healthy eating and physical activity.

Kahne will be featured in two different 15-second spots airing during Speedweeks, the period leading up to the Daytona 500, which includes the Bud Shootout, Daytona 500 qualifying and the Daytona 500. The ads focus on encouraging fans to choose water over sugar-laden drinks and to be more physically active through simple choices. These behaviors are two of the seven evidence-based, simple solutions that the Eat Smart, Move More movement promotes in efforts to help North Carolinians maintain a healthy weight.

The ads will air from Feb. 10 through Feb. 18 in the following North Carolina media markets: Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham, Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point, and Wilmington. Radio spots are also being planned.

“As a young, athletic driver who knows the importance of being healthy, Kasey Kahne is the perfect spokesman for the message we’re trying to get out to NASCAR fans,” said Sheree Vodicka, healthy weight communications coordinator with the N.C. Division of Public Health. “We want everyone who sees the ads to look to Kasey as an example and to remember the simple tips he provides to encourage them to eat smart and move more.”

These latest Eat Smart, Move More ads are targeted at NASCAR fans, many of whom are adults with kids in the home. Market research showed that many adult NASCAR fans get less exercise and drink more sugar-sweetened beverages than the average American. These behaviors are important to target because they may increase a person’s risk for overweight or obesity.

Kasey Kahne was selected to represent Eat Smart, Move More and bring the message home to fans of NASCAR because he represents a new generation of Nextel Cup drivers who see health and fitness as a part of their success strategies both on and off the track. Last season Kahne won a series-best six wins, in addition to six poles, 19 top-ten finishes and 12 top-five finishes. He finished eighth in the final point standings.

“ As an athlete, maintaining a healthy weight is important to a strong race-day performance. I'm happy to be a part of the Eat Smart, Move More movement,” said Kahne. “Choosing water when you're thirsty and being more active are two simple changes that we all can make to be healthier."

Eat Smart, Move More...North Carolina is a statewide movement that encourages healthy eating and physical activity wherever people live, learn, earn, play, and pray. For more information or to view the new Kasey Kahne ads, visit the Web site at www.EatSmartMoveMoreNC.com .


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Debbie Crane