The program, Be Sweet Without the Sugar, aims to prevent both the development of adolescent obesity and type 2 diabetes through social media in order to reduce sugar sweetened beverage consumption among teens. Through this two month program, students will engage in positive behaviour changes to promote a healthier lifestyle. Students will learn the importance of water and the risk factors associated with SSB consumption. Students will begin to take charge of their health through this engaging and exciting program.
Nutritional education is not mandatory in the state of NJ, and through this program high school students will learn the importance of nutrition by understanding the risks associated with SSB consumption. Be Sweet Without The Sugar is an obesity prevention program that will focus on decreasing sweetened sugar beverage (SSB) consumption among highschool students in New Jersey. This program focuses on risks associated with SSB consumption, benefits of increased water intake and better understanding of nutrition knowledge as a whole through education seminars. In New Jersey, approximately 1 out of every 4 adults are obese with 23% of NJ highschool students being classifed as overweight or obese (Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity, 2018). In 2008, $9.3 billion was spent on obesity health care costs. In 2018, that cost nearly quadrupled to $9.3 billion spent annually on obesity related health care costs (Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity, 2018). Inventions must be in place for the health of adolescents to minimize their risk of obesity. The ideally implemented Be Sweet Without the Sugar program will consist of three essential components: social marketing for nutrition education, incentives to promote incentives to engage in the program, and environmental support by swapping out SSB for water or other low-sugar options in vending machines on the school grounds. Research shows that school-based interventions that provide adolescents education on health consequences combined with improving the environment, such as removing vending machines or providing healthy alternatives, are effective in reducing the consumption of SSB among adolescents.
This program will be funded through grants. There are many grants out there willing to shell out money for a program that promotes healthy living and aims at decreasing obesity. Grant money will be used for purchasing supplies, education materials and giveaways. Donations within the community will provide an additional way to receive extra funding towards this program’s mission of decreasing obesity rates in high school students.
Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity New Jersey Fact Sheet. (2018). Retrieved November 18, 2020, from https://www.nj.gov/health/nutrition/services-support/breastfeeding/Obesity%20Data%20Fact%20Sheet_Dec2016_FINAL.PDF