210990 Youth as change agents: Increasing healthy foods in corner stores

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 3:10 PM

Brianna Almaguer Sandoval , The Food Trust, Philadelphia, PA
The Food Trust's Healthy Corner Store Initiative engages low-income Philadelphia youth in leadership and teamwork activities to improve their own health and that of their community. Through a series of youth-designed and -led activities, the youth program (the Snackin' Fresh Initiative) helps adolescents develop healthier eating skills and work collaboratively with community members to build a healthier food system. The Snackin' Fresh Initiative integrates nutrition education and social marketing in five target communities in Philadelphia to promote healthy snacking and positive youth development. The program also aims to decrease their intake of high-calorie foods and beverages, helping prevent overweight and obesity. This initiative reflects the Trust's belief that targeting environmental interventions both within and outside schools is a crucial step in developing robust and comprehensive efforts to prevent childhood obesity. As active program participants, Snackin' Fresh youth are learning to assess and improve their communities' food environment, with an emphasis on healthy snacking. Youth designed the name, logo, marketing materials, and the types of fruit and water they wanted to buy in the corner stores. They assessed their environment, developed interactive maps identifying where youngsters can purchase healthy food and be physically active and are involved in all aspects of the intervention. The Snackin' Fresh Initiative engaged them in the process of discovering that their snack choices are heavily influenced by what is available—and that they had the power, through their advocacy, to change their communities.

Learning Objectives:
1) to identify the components of a youth leadership initiative to promote healthy snacking 2) to recognize corner stores as a point of intervention for obesity prevention initiatives 3) to appreciate the role of youth in improving community food choices

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Present position of Corner Store Project Coordinator at The Food Trust
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.