WASHINGTON, D.C. – Many parents struggle with their kids’ eating habits and obesity. What if more kids actually wanted to consume fruits and vegetables? A New York startup believes it will make that happen.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded Vedge’ Kids, LLC Phase 1 of a 2 Phase $1.1 million grant to conduct research on the effectiveness of its produce-centric TV show and curriculum in the fight against childhood obesity. Childhood obesity continues to be a serious health concern in the U.S. Total societal costs are estimated at over 100 billion dollars annually.
The Vedge’ Kids show, which features animated fruits and vegetables as superheroes, aims to inspire and motivate children to eat healthy. The show is unique in that it is entertainment driven not preachy, flat or didactic.
“We’re extremely pleased to have worked with the USDA to reach this milestone,” said Rob Orchanian, President of Vedge’ Kids. “The individuals at the USDA are dedicated, professional and forward thinking. Their action confirms our proof of concept and our team’s dedication. Our goal is to improve the health of all our children by promoting the eating of fruits and veggies.
Our method has been to tear a page from the marketing book of junk food companies. Eating fruits and veggies is fun, exciting. They taste great too! We will make sure that little kids and their mommies know that and live that.”
Orchanian went on to say, “The Vedge’ Kids show is the cornerstone of a commercial enterprise. We firmly believe that the shows popular appeal will support a national TV broadcast. We expect this grant will be the 1st of a series of grants and investments that will move us firmly into profitability within the next 2 to 5 years.”
Research will be done in conjunction with the University of Maryland. The University has advised programs offered through Sesame Workshop and PBS.
Vedge’ Kids LLC, headquartered in the greater NYC metropolitan area, is also the publisher of several nutrition-focused children’s books. More information on the company can be found at www.vedgekids.com