Health advocates hope to send anti-obesity mascot national

MORGANTOWN, WV (WACH / AP) -- The creators of a lean, green superhero for health hope the furry critter they call Choosy will soon become a national ambassador against childhood obesity.

Choosy is on exam-table paper in South Carolina clinics and on posters in Head Start offices nationwide. He's got music CDs, including one released last month in Spanish.

Retired West Virginia University professor Linda Carson runs Choosy Kids LLC. She says the idea behind Choosy is to expose preschool-age children often so they'll make healthy choices before learning bad habits.

Choosy stands for Choose Health Options Often & Start Young.

In 2009-2010, 16.9 percent of US children and adolescents were obese, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

2010 state obesity rates show 31.5 percent of South Carolinians are obese, making it the fourth most obese state in the nation behind Mississippi, West Virginia and Alabama.

(The AP contributed to this story.)