Process and Outcomes From a Youth-Led Campaign to Address Healthy Eating in an Urban High School
- 1k Downloads
This article describes a pilot youth advocacy initiative for obesity prevention informed by social cognitive theory, social network theory, and theories of community mobilization. With assistance from school and health leaders, adolescent-aged youth led a cafeteria food labeling and social marketing campaign. We implemented an anonymous survey 2 weeks prior to and again at the conclusion of the campaign, and used cafeteria records to track servings of fruits and vegetables. The campaign resulted in a significant increase in youths’ confidence to identify healthy foods (OR 1.97, 95 % CI 1.01, 3.84, p = .048), and a significant increase in per person per day servings of fruits (0.02, p = .03) and vegetables (0.01, p = .02). The results of our pilot were promising, and the integration of concepts from multiple theories benefited the implementation process. Obesity prevention initiatives should include strategies that encourage youth to create health promotion community networks and lead changes to their social and physical environments.
KeywordsChildhood obesity Nutrition and diet Community health
The authors would like to thank the Omaha Public School Nutrition Services for their support and assistance with this project. Frerichs and Huang are supported in part by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Active Living Research (Grant # 68502) and the Nebraska Research Initiative.
Compliance With Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflict of interest.
- Bandura, A. (1989). Social cognitive theory. Annals of Child Development, 6(1), 1–60.Google Scholar
- Coordinated Approach to Child Health. (2013). Coordinated approach to child health, Go-Slow-Whoa. http://catchusa.org/documents/misc/GSW_with%20Intro_reduced%20format_English.pdf.
- Fiori, K., Wolff, C., Goto, K., Frigaard, M., Chan, K., & Bianco-Simeral, S. (2011). Discrepancies among student school lunch preferences, menu options, and consumption patterns in a low-income northern California high school. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 9(2), 29–39.Google Scholar
- Institute of Medicine. (2012). Accelerating progress in obesity prevention: Solving the weight of the nation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
- Kadushin, C. (2004). Introduction to social network theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2012). Breaking new ground, building a tobacco-free future. Retrieved August 13, 2014 from http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/content/who_we_are/annual_report/AnnualReport2012.pdf.
- Schetzina, K., Dalton, W., Pfortmiller, D., Robinson, H., Lowe, E., & Stern, H. (2011). The winning with wellness pilot project: Rural appalachian elementary student physical activity and eating behaviors and program implementation 4 years later. Family & Community Health, 34(2), 154–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Tracy, T. (2014). Congress takes a bite out of school-lunch rules. Wall Street Journal, Washington Wire. http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2014/12/10/cromnibus-takes-bite-out-of-school-lunch-rules/. Accessed 29 Dec 2014.