Conduct an in-school event that engages teens in a series of hands-on physical activities and mini-lessons that increase physical activity, increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, and reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.
3,805 teens in grades 5 to 12 in 11 schools in New Jersey.
Theory, Prior Research, Rationale
The CDC recommends that students increase their level of physical activity and consumption of fruits and vegetables, and decrease consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.
The Healthy Teen Expo program is a 1-day, non-competitive event engaging students (grades 5 to 12) in Atlantic County, New Jersey. The focus is for students to cycle through a series of physical activity challenges (30 minutes), and highly interactive mini-lessons (30 minutes) in 1–hour as they complete the Passport to Good Health.
Students completed the anonymous pre-survey 5 days prior to the event, and follow-up survey 2 weeks after the in-school event. Collaborators agree the event meets their goals for community engagement and is replicable in other states. In the follow-up survey students reported an increased consumption of fruits/vegetables, increased level of physical activity, decreased screen time, and decreased intake of sugar-sweetened beverages. Data (analyzed via Survey Monkey) indicate: Follow-Up Survey, n= 2,785 (53% female, 47% male) 44% increased consumption of fruits and vegetables 7% managed food portion size 2% increased level of physical activity 8% decreased screen time 44% decreased intake of sugar-sweetened beverages.
Conclusions and Implications
The Healthy Teen Expo is an effective health promotion program for the teenage population. Community collaborators are essential to the success of the program. This event is replicable in other schools when facilitated by a community nutrition educator with strong community parterships.
Supported by the Atlantic County Health Department, Atlantic City Health Department, Atlantic County Healthy Living, Coalition/Shore Medical Center, Atlantic Hospital System, 4-H Youth Development of Atlantic County, South Jersey Family Medical Center and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education.
© 2013 Published by Elsevier Inc.