September 30, 2010 / 7:22 PM / 8 years ago

Teen actor Reed Alexander urges kids to eat better

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Health problems in actor Reed Alexander’s family brought home how important it is to improve his eating habits, and he is now urging other teenagers to do the same.

Alexander, who plays web critic Nevel Papperman on Nickelodeon’s iCarly television show, has developed his own recipes for snacks and meals and wants to help educate U.S. youth on eating and preparing healthier food.

“The main message is empowering kids and their parents across the country (to) take health into their own hands,” the 15-year-old said in an interview.

Alexander is working with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which was founded in 2005 by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, to improve the health of American youngsters.

He described the recent death of his father’s uncle from heart disease as a “wake-up call.”

Alexander’s campaign coincided with an announcement on Thursday that First Lady Michelle Obama will be featured along with young Disney stars in a multimedia healthy lifestyle initiative aimed at kids.

The Disney Magic of Healthy Living program will focus on nutrition, healthcare and fitness, according to Walt Disney Co.

Alexander, who earlier in his career had a small role on television’s “Will & Grace,” said he would eventually love to do a cooking show.

“What I would love to do is to combine my passion for food and being in front of the camera,” he said.

Reporting by Phil Wahba; Editing by Patricia Reaney

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