After completing research that any child would love to have carried out, Department of Health (DH) officials have picked out the stars of the long-running series as being the most active animated characters.

DH staff watched 200 hours of cartoons including Tom & Jerry, Peppa Pig and Dora the Explorer and "rated each character on their activity levels, awarding marks for good behaviours such as walking short journeys and playing sport."

They said the Great Dane and his sidekicks, Fred, Shaggy, Velma and Daphne, were often active throughout whole episodes of the show as they constantly ran away from monsters and baddies.

However, they did go on to add that Scooby's diet of Scooby Snax and sandwiches and use of "The Mystery Machine" bus meant the lovable dog was far from the perfect healthy role model for children.

Instead they pointed to Sportacus, star of new "healthy kids" cartoon Lazy Town, made in partnership with the DH's Change4Life campaign.

Under the £75,000 initiative, 3,600 Sure Start Children's Centres will be sent LazyTown-branded activity packs including recipe ideas and a sticker chart.

The show features "sports candy" characters made of fruit and vegetables that join Sportacus in trying to persuade children to spend more time playing outdoors.

Anne Milton, the Public Health Minister, said: "Eating well and being active is crucial, especially at an early age.

"Sportacus is a great role model for children and exactly what we need to get young children and their parents being healthy and being active."


Posted September 14th 2011 at 1615 by Richard. Comment by emailing: