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Mr. Potato Head Goes Healthy
Mr. Potato Head Goes Healthy

Mr. Potato Head Goes Healthy 

 

Ansley Haman - Scripps Howard News Service

Mr. Potato Head will be flexing bulging biceps above Manhattan's streets rather than watching this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from his couch.

He's now the "spokespud" for potato power.

The plastic potato shed some pounds so he could help the United States Potato Board promote nutritional benefits of the country's most popular vegetable. His balloon likeness will flaunt its new physique in the New York City parade on Nov. 24, beginning at 9 a.m. EST on NBC.

"He's an American icon," said Robin Hall, executive producer of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Mr. Potato Head, one of the stars from "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2," will don athletic shoes, a baseball cap and a portable MP3 player. His muscular white arms will also carry a purple water bottle.

"One of America's favorite toys is speaking up about his innate nutritious side by becoming Healthy Mr. Potato Head," said Ray Meiggs, chairman of the United States Potato Board and a North Carolina potato grower. "We're thrilled to have such a terrific tuber encouraging Americans to stay active and eat nutritiously."

Consumers are increasingly noticing benefits of the vegetable thanks to a new healthy potato campaign, said Linda McCashion, vice president of public relations for the United States Potato Board.

Healthy Mr. Potato Head will further that momentum, she said. Potatoes contain Vitamin C, fiber and potassium in their skins.

This isn't the first time Mr. Potato Head has spoken out on health issues. He handed his plastic pipe over to U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop in 1987, becoming the first official spokesman for the American Cancer Society's annual Great American Smokeout campaign.

Mr. Potato Head became the first toy advertised on network television in 1952. The original Mr. Potato Head required actual potatoes until a molded plastic body was invented in 1964. His appeal to several generations sparked interest at the potato board.

The spokespud will go on the road in 2006 to speak with elementary school students about healthy lifestyles, McCashion said.

 Photo Courtesy of United States Potato Board

 Copyright Scripps Howard News Service 2005

 Source: http://www.newswatch50.com/entertainment/wierd_news/story.aspx?content_id=CB776F85-0C45-41F9-96C7-999E0E5F2F72