America's Favorite Potato Hooks Up With America's Favorite Fitness Icon to Spread the News: Our Bodies Need Complex Carbs to Fuel Muscles

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BOISE, ID, January 2004 - The Idaho Potato Commission announces the beginning of a new era in "marketing" potatoes: a national campaign devoted to educating Americans about the importance of complex carbohydrates (like those found in Idaho Potatoes) and the critical role they play in fueling working muscles. A key component of the campaign is a national deal with Denise Austin, widely regarded as America's most popular exercise guru and host of her daily Lifetime Network program.

Tapping into the annual anniversary of America's obsessive focus on calories and dieting, the IPC chose the early New Year timeframe, to go public with it's Denise Austin news.

"This year has been the year that the bad rap on carbohydrates has reached a crescendo and with the onset of a New Year, we anticipate that carbs will get more than their fair share of bad press," said Frank Muir, President and CEO of the IPC. "Our message and Denise's message is clear and consistent: carbohydrates are necessary as part of an overall healthy diet to ensure optimum good health and fitness. Bottom line, we're not going to take a back seat on this issue anymore."

Along with sponsoring Austin's daily fitness program, "Denise Austin's Daily Workout," on Lifetime, the IPC and Austin are partnering on a variety of other pro-carb initiatives designed to reach the general public with the "other side of the carb story." These activities range from television appearances to articles bylined by Denise Austin in targeted print outlets, to internet communications tactics.

"I'm honored and flattered to represent Idaho Potatoes," said Austin. "I don't believe that rigid diets advocating the elimination of major food groups are healthy. I have always advocated healthy, well-balanced diets and an active lifestyle, as the best approach. Shelving the whole carb issue, Idaho Potatoes are packed with vitamins and nutrients, and it is a shame that people might be missing out on one of nature's most perfect foods."

The Denise Austin partnership is part of the IPC's "master plan" to set the record straight about potatoes. In addition to the Austin deal, the IPC just last month debuted a brand new television commercial, designed to remind the public that Idaho Potatoes are not only delicious, but they are packed with nutrition. And, earlier this fall, the IPC sponsored National Family Health & Fitness Day and was the New York sponsor for the National Women's Health & Fitness Day. In addition, the IPC sponsored the Survivor's Breakfast at the Komen Race for the Cure in Miami.

All of the IPC's health/fitness-event affiliations were purposely selected to connect the dots showing the effect a well-rounded diet and a fitness regimen can have in achieving a healthy lifestyle.

"Our biggest job right now is to tell the nutritional story about Idaho Potatoes," said Muir. "We understand that America is waging a fierce weight battle, but there is no logical reason to target food products that are so naturally good for you. Active healthy people need carbohydrates to fuel their working muscles, it's that simple."

Although Idaho is famous worldwide for its premium potatoes, some consumers don't realize that only potatoes grown in the Gem State can wear the "Grown In Idaho" seal. Both Idaho® Potatoes and the "Grown in Idaho®" seal are federally registered Certification Marks that belong to the IPC. These Marks ensure that consumers are purchasing potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho.

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