Smart Bodies (SB) is a comprehensive, nutrition-education and physical-activity 4-H school enrichment program for K to fifth-grade youth. A joint initiative of the LSU AgCenter and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, SB is taught in schools across the state and helps children learn how to build strong bodies and develop active minds. Smart Bodies consists of three components: Body Walk, OrganWise Guys and Take 10! classroom programs. Since March 2005, more than 800 elementary schools have implemented the SB program, and nearly 300,000 children experienced the Body Walk. Beginning in 2009, a second BW exhibit was put into use, allowing more schools to be reached. Smart Bodies is a 4-H Program of Distinction and Blue Works Award recipient.
Youth Voice: Youth Choice is an exciting program created by the National 4-H Council that encourages young people to develop and maintain healthy, active lifestyles. The program tackled wellness issues such as nutrition, physical fitness and safety. Youth Voice: Youth Choice participants worked with land-grant university experts and 4-H volunteers to get young people excited about living healthy lifestyles. Youth are empowered to create action plans to share with their county commissioners, school boards, health caucuses and legislative offices. The action plans will identify and overcome the barriers to healthy living and raise public awareness for wellness, as well as encourage the development of partnerships with local stakeholders to expand wellness initiatives.
Health Rocks! is a curriculum-based, life skills development program for youth ages 8 to 12, sponsored by the National 4-H Council. It helps youth learn skills such as decision making, critical thinking and stress management but places a special emphasis on tobacco-use prevention. The program includes components that bring youth and adults together in developing community strategies that prepare young people to make healthful lifestyle choices. Extension faculty members were trained to implement the program in their parish. To date, Health Rocks! reached 3,932 youth and adults. Ninety-five percent (95%) of participants indicated they have a greater understanding of media’s influence on their diet. Participants increased their team-building skills and knowledge of the harmful health impacts of using tobacco, drugs and alcohol.
4-H Camp Nutrition Track at 4-H Camp touches the lives of hundreds of youth annually. In the nutrition track, over 500 youth completed a post‐only assessment of knowledge of nutrition and physical activity.
- The mean score for knowledge of portion control was 86.98.
- An overwhelming majority of youth (n= 478; 94.8%) identified playing on the computer as an inadequate means of exercising while 93.8% (n=473) of the youth correctly answered that about 60 minutes of exercise is needed daily.
On a 4‐point scale, campers' mean score of the perception of nutrition and physical activity competence was 3.39, indicating that youth felt strong agreement that the 4‐H Camp nutrition track had helped them feel more secure in their ability to set and achieve nutrition and physical-activity goals.