257109 Best Bones Forever! Let's Dance Contest: Engaging Tweens in Bone-Building Behaviors

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 8:30 AM - 8:45 AM

Elizabeth Osborn, MPH , Hager Sharp, Inc., Washington, DC
R. Ann Abercrombie, MLS , Office on Women's Health, HHS, Washington, DC
Darcy Sawatzki, MA , Hager Sharp, Washington, DC
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health developed Best Bones Forever! to increase calcium and vitamin D consumption and physical activity among girls 9-14. To make the target behaviors appealing, easy, and popular, Best Bones Forever! launched the Let's Dance Contest featuring Savvy (an up-and-coming pop group) in June 2011. Girls nationwide were invited to choreograph a unique dance routine to a Savvy song and upload their video. By practicing their moves, girls engaged in physical activity. Messages about calcium and vitamin D were included on the website and in outreach to girls. A robust partnership network increased contest engagement. Ninety girls from 17 states participated. A majority of evaluation participants reported that they learned “a little” (48% and 31%) or “a lot” (45% and 59%) about which physical activities and which food and drinks help build strong bones, respectively. Additionally, all of the girls “strongly agreed” or “agreed” that they planned to do more physical activity and learn more about ways to keep their bones healthy. Ninety seven percent “strongly agreed” or “agreed” that they planned to eat more bone-strengthening foods. Lastly, all participants “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that they would participate in another dance contest. Lessons learned from the Let's Dance Contest, including the importance of organizing fun and engaging activities, using new media effectively, creating appealing messages, engaging partners, and conducting grassroots outreach, can help other social marketing programs seeking to mobilize and engage a tween audience.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the Best Bones Forever! campaign Identify strategies for reaching a tween/adolescent audience Implement a video-based contest

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Social Marketing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I managed the Let's Dance contest on behalf of the Office on Women's Health.
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.