In 2010, according to the California Physical Fitness testing program 22.6 percent of 5th, 7th, and 9th graders in Los Angeles County public schools were overweight or obese. In order to address the growing epidemic of obesity, National Health Foundation was awarded a Nutrition Education Obesity Prevention (NEOP) grant of $325,000 from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to conduct youth engagement projects. NHF was one of fifteen organizations in Los Angeles County to receive this competitive grant. Through NEOP, youth ages 14-18 will engage in leadership, critical thinking, problem-solving and community-based research skills focused on nutrition and physical activity information to help create positive, healthy changes within low-income communities. NHF will partner with Jefferson High School, located in South Los Angeles, to implement this program. This funding will allow NHF to engage youth to address an identified barrier and provide the skills needed to empower and encourage these youth to work toward the solution of this barrier, with the overall goal of preventing obesity. Nutrition education programming and resources will be incorporated within grant efforts to help low-income families find, buy, and prepare healthier foods on their limited budgets.
Measured or Anticipated Outcomes
- Increased consumption of fruit and vegetables among youth participants
- Increased physical activity among youth participants
- Changes in the school and local environment to support making healthy choices, the easy choice
- Creating a replicable framework that demonstrates that young Californians can be active champions in their schools, communities, after-school programs and homes—in the promotion of healthier, more nutritious, active lifestyles.
- Use project outcomes to inform local and statewide public health advocates and government officials on sustainable, comprehensive measures to improve community health.
Funding for this program was generously provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Thomas Jefferson High School, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
For more information please contact Mia Arias, Director of Programs at Marias@nhfca.org.