Monday, Nov. 09, 2009

C Is for Carrot?

America's obesity epidemic has led to the posting of calorie counts on menus and the explosion of gyms in strip malls. Now it's forced the country's preeminent junk-food eater to go on a diet. In the spring of 2005, the Sesame Workshop and PBS decided that Cookie Monster's primary character trait — his passion for baked goods — sent a bad message to kids. Since then, the blue Muppet has promoted healthier eating habits, scarfing down fruits and vegetables rather than his usual snack and insisting that eating only cookies is all wrong. Though some critics argue that Cookie Monster did not contribute to childhood obesity and that his newfound appreciation for other food groups has weakened his character, he has since become a spokesman for healthy eating, even appearing in a public-service announcement alongside Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to promote the importance of a nutritious diet.