VERB (program)

VERB was a physical activity program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States Government. It included print, online, and television national paid advertising, running them on popular children's channels and popular children's magazines.

VERB (Program)
PurposeYouth fitness
United States
Budget (2001)
$125 million
Remarks“It’s what you do.”

Campaign historyEdit

The campaign was created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in response to concerns about the health and fitness of the youth in the United States. The campaign aimed to combat the sedentary lifestyles of children between the ages of nine and 13. The United States Congress funded the campaign with $339 million.[1] The campaign ran from 2002 to 2006. The tagline for the campaign was “Verb: It’s what you do.”[2]

The main goal of the VERB campaign[3] was to increase and maintain physical activity among "tweens" (children ages 9–13).[4] The campaign used hip and culturally popular social marketing efforts[1] to target kids, promoting exercise and being cool, fun, and exciting and encouraged kids to be more active by finding their own unique “verb."[2] The campaign used hip and culturally relevant social marketing principle to target this age group (posters, print advertising, television, and radio spots).[5] In 2004, an additional program called "VERB Summer Scorecard" emerged from the national VERB campaign. VERB Summer Scorecard was developed first launched by Fit Kentucky and the Lexington Fayette County Health Department (creating the Lexington Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition). It has since been adapted and disseminated in 22 communities including cities in Florida, Nebraska, Iowa and Colorado. VERB Summer Scorecard promotes and incentivizes physical activity opportunities by creating a "passport" (scorecard) system for children to track their physical activity. It creates "activity-friendly communities" to facilitate exercise.[6]

Results of the campaignEdit

An evaluation of the program in 2004 found it to have an expansive reach. Among exposed children, 96% reported understanding of at least one key campaign message. Children who reported being aware of the VERB campaign engaged in 3.9 weekly sessions of free-time activity while children with no VERB awareness reported 3 sessions of physical activity. This is a 22% difference between the VERB aware and unaware.[7]


  1. ^ a b Huhman, Marian; Kelly, Ryan P.; Edgar, Timothy (April 18, 2017). "Social Marketing as a Framework for Youth Physical Activity Initiatives: a 10-Year Retrospective on the Legacy of CDC's VERB Campaign" (PDF). Topical Collection on Obesity Prevention. PMID 28421471.
  2. ^ a b Parker-Pope, Tara (2006-09-05). "Passing the Ball: Hip Campaign That Got Kids to Be Active Looks for Its Next Move". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2022-10-14.
  3. ^ "VERB™ | The NSMC". Retrieved 2022-08-31.
  4. ^ Huhman, Marian E.; Potter, Lance D.; Nolin, Mary Jo; Piesse, Andrea; Judkins, David R.; Banspach, Stephen W.; Wong, Faye L. (2010-04-01). "The Influence of the VERB Campaign on Children's Physical Activity in 2002 to 2006". American Journal of Public Health. 100 (4): 638–645. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2008.142968. ISSN 0090-0036. PMC 2836341. PMID 19608963.
  5. ^ Wong, Faye; Huhman, Marian; Asbury, Lori; Bretthauer-Mueller, Rosemary; McCarthy, Susan; Londe, Paula; Heitzler, Carrie (2004-06-15). "VERB™ — A Social Marketing Campaign to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth". Preventing Chronic Disease. 1 (3): A10. ISSN 1545-1151. PMC 1253475. PMID 15670431.
  6. ^ "Preventing Chronic Disease: September 2011: 10_0173". Retrieved 2016-03-30.
  7. ^ Huhman, Marian E.; Potter, Lance D.; Duke, Jennifer C.; Judkins, David R.; Heitzler, Carrie D.; Wong, Faye L. (2007). "Evaluation of a National Physical Activity Intervention for Children". American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 32 (1): 38–43. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2006.08.030. PMID 17218189.

External linksEdit