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Body Quest students lying on grass smiling on elementary school campus

This is an excerpt from FY20 SNAP-Ed Annual Report, FCS-2469.

Body Quest Makes a Difference

The flagship school-based initiative of Auburn University SNAP-Ed is Body Quest (BQ), a multilevel, comprehensive obesity prevention initiative, which empowers Alabama’s youth and their parents to make healthier choices.

During the 20192020 school year, SNAP-Ed educators provided BQ to 7,112 third graders in 57 Alabama counties, 124 schools, and 377 classrooms. All schools were SNAP-Ed eligible with more than 50 percent of students receiving free or reduced-priced meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Classes included educator-led discussion, vegetable tastings, and iPad app reinforcement lessons narrated by the BQ Warriors, who possess superpowers from eating healthy foods.

A statewide impact evaluation of BQ was conducted with schools randomly assigned to a treatment or control group. Both treatment and control groups participated in self-reported pre- and post-assessments. Treatment students and parents received an intervention between assessments. Control students and parents received delayed intervention after all assessments were completed. Data were analyzed using a two-way mixed-model ANOVA. Significant differences (p < 0.05) were observed in treatment groups from pre- to post-assessment and compared to control groups.

Parents Eat Better, Move More, and Make a Change

Body Quest engaged 5,320 parents in educational activities to support healthy home environments. Parents joined the BQ Recipe Tester Club and received inexpensive, simple, and kid-friendly vegetable recipes to prepare and “test” with their children at home. Parents also received educational materials and weekly text messages and were encouraged to interact with Live Well Alabama on social media by following, liking, tagging, and sharing content.

Text Messaging Engaged Parents to Make a Change

At the beginning of BQ, 4,908 parents provided their cell phone numbers to receive three action-oriented, educational text messages per week. The majority (81%) of parents remained active in the texting program for the entire 15 weeks. At the end of BQ, a texting poll with participating parents (n = 242) measured the effectiveness of the text messages and self-reported behavior change.

Body Quest Schools Make a Change

Making healthy food and physical activity priorities at school is critical. Research shows kids who have healthy eating habits and get regular physical activity are more likely to have better academic performance, attendance, self-esteem, classroom behavior, and lower obesity rates. SNAP-Ed educators leveraged strong partnerships with
85 BQ schools to facilitate 160 positive changes creating healthier school environments for more than 37,400 students.

  • Policy changes established or improved school wellness
    policies and eliminated soft drinks at school-based day camps.
  • Systems changes increased availability of fresh, local produce in school cafeterias.
  • Environmental improvements established, reinvigorated, or sustained edible school gardens and improved access to safe walking and biking paths to schools.
  • Promotional efforts provided tastings and signage placed throughout the school encouraging students to make healthy choices.

 

Download a PDF of a version of the FY20 SNAP-Ed Annual Report,FCS-2469

 

For questions and accessibility or to request accommodations, contact Extension Communications and Marketing at 334-844-5696 or extcomm@aces.edu.

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