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Kid Fitness Videos Fill Niche and a Need

31 Jan, 2004 By: Jessica Wolf

Fitness programming for kids is a niche market buried deep within another niche market, but it's one that can have a powerful impact.

Adolescent obesity is reaching alarming levels, tripling over the past two decades, according to the U.S. Surgeon General, and research has shown that sedentary kids grow into sedentary adults with increased risk factors for heart disease and high blood pressure.

There are a lot of reasons why kids are sedentary these days, not the least of which is the abundance of entertainment options like video games, computers and hundreds of TV channels. But there's even more to it than getting kids off their butts, experts say.

Michael C. Pouliot, R.D., has worked as a private nutrition and exercise counselor for obese kids and has been involved in creating dietary and fitness programs for schools. He has a new video that aims to help kids and their families make good eating and exercise decisions: Family Health: Nutrition, Exercise and Lifestyle Program for Kids, Teens and Adults (VHS $19.95), available from Mind Your Body.

A workout video can be a great option for kids with weight issues because these kids often have serious body-image issues and are highly self-conscious, Pouliot said.

Hitting the yoga craze on a kid level is Lions Gate Home Entertainment's Wai Lana's Little Yogis Volumes 1 and 2, which street March 16 (prebook Feb. 17) on DVD ($12.98) and VHS ($9.98).

Kids' fitness titles do present some unique challenges for suppliers.

“You market to the parents, and you appeal to the kids,” said Lee Eiland, brand manager for Lions Gate. “[The program] should be fun and colorful; it shouldn't feel like work, [and] it should be something that they want to do. The instructions should be very clear and obviously on a child's level.”

Also available are Gaiam's “Yoga for Kids” line of videos and Inspired Corp.'s Yoga for the Kid in All of Us. Ventura offers Tae Bo Junior and titles like Cheer and Darrin's Dance Grooves, which appeal to teens and tweens.

Other titles aimed at the littlest tykes cash in on character popularity like Sony Wonder's Elmocize and Sesame Street: Get Up and Dance, and Warner Home Video's Teletubbies: Go! Exercise.

“You have to tap into whatever gets kids excited,” Pouliot said.

Getting the whole family involved helps, too, he added.

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