About Careers MedBlog Contact us

Youth Empowerment Program can Prevent Childhood Obesity

by Iswarya on August 2, 2019 at 4:09 PM
Font : A-A+

Youth Empowerment Program can Prevent Childhood Obesity

Youth-produced narratives can empower youth to reduce sugary drink consumption and decrease obesity risk, reveals a new study. The findings of the study are published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

A new pilot study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers is the first to use youth-produced narratives to empower youth to reduce sugary drink consumption and obesity risk. In the study, participants in the pilot program at the Boys and Girls Club (BGC) of Worcester and their parents consumed fewer sugary drinks and more water over a six-month period than children and parents at a demographically-similar BGC in a nearby city.


"Youth created their own narratives around why it was important for them--not their parents, teachers, or researchers like myself--to change the types of beverages they were drinking," says study lead author Dr. Monica Wang, assistant professor of community health sciences at BUSPH.

"This type of empowerment strategy recognizes youth as experts in their own lives, and maybe particularly engaging for the youth of color."

After a training from Wang and her colleagues, BGC staff in the pilot study led an ethnically diverse group of nine- to twelve-year-old youths in activities that promoted replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water, including blind taste tests of flavored water, a corner store scavenger hunt, and role-play skits about ways to drink water and what to do when tempted by sugary drinks. The staff also guided the participants in creating written, audio, and video narratives to promote replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water and provide strategies for doing so. The youths then taught their parents or guardians what they had learned each week, shared their narratives, and led a culminating BGC community event at the end of the six-week program.

"Most obesity prevention programs target multiple behaviors, but we found that a youth empowerment program targeting one dietary behavior could prevent obesity risk among youth," Wang says.

"Reducing sugary drinks through youth empowerment may be a promising starting point for families to engage in additional healthy eating efforts down the road."

Wang notes that 12 BGCs have expressed interest in the program for a future, larger-scale study.

Source: Eurekalert


Latest Obesity News

Look Beyond Diet and Exercise to Prevent Childhood Obesity
Tackling obesity in children: Interventions focusing on eating a healthy diet and practicing regular exercise alone won't prevent childhood obesity.
Children of Obese Moms Become Obese Adults
Moms who eat unhealthy foods and are obese during pregnancy are more likely to deliver kids who are at increased risk of becoming obese adults.
Mobile Food Pantry Solves Food Insecurity
Choice-based mobile food pantry program has the potential to reduce household food insecurity, improve diet quality, and tackle obesity among children.
Gut Health and Obesity: Role of Bacterial Indicator Species
New study attempts to identify bacterial indicator species of obesity and metabolic syndrome in adult and pediatric patients.
 Natural Peptide May Help Reverse Obesity-Related Diseases
A new therapeutic approach using natural peptides may tackle the root cause of obesity-related conditions by preventing systemic inflammation.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Youth Empowerment Program can Prevent Childhood Obesity Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests