Since 2009, a team of researchers and social marketers at the Florida Prevention Research Center (FPRC) collaborated with the Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition in Lexington, Kentucky to develop and test the Community Based Prevention Marketing for Policy Development framework. The end result is a healthier menu in concession stands at public pools and other parks and recreation venues in the Lexington community.
The revised menu options, known as Better Bites, features healthier items. It is growing in popularity, not only in Lexington, but throughout other parts of Kentucky as well. This expanded popularity is an important development because youth gain weight three times faster during the summer than at other times of the year.
Recent data from the Kentucky Health Issues Poll, found that almost 40% of Kentucky children and youth are overweight or obese. The startling revelation of these data is why the Kentucky Department of Parks changed its food policy and adopted Better Bites, using it at all 17 state park restaurant locations.
Although the healthier food options have not completely replaced traditional menu items, children and their parents can now select fun, flavorful, and nutrient-rich food alternatives. The Better Bites initiative was recently featured on a local news broadcast in Kentucky. View it at http://www.wkyt.com/wymt/home/headlines/State-parks-offer-better-food-options-to-keep-kids-healthy–214811681.html
The FPRC has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 1998. Prior to creating this policymaking framework, FPRC team members deployed their research and social marketing capabilities to reduce the uptake of tobacco and alcohol among middle school youth, increase participation in physical activity among tweens (youth ages 9-13), and reduce risk of eye injuries among citrus harvesters by increasing their adoption of eye safety glasses. The FPRC is truly unique among CDC’s 37 funded academic research centers, as it is the only one to devise and use a specific program planning and policymaking framework as its principal core research for combatting challenging public health problems. Dr. Carol Bryant directs the FPRC at USF.
The USF College of Public Health is the parent organization for the Florida Prevention Research Center. Its mission is to develop, implement and evaluate evidence-based approaches to strengthen community capacity for sustained disease prevention and health promotion. The Florida Prevention Research Center is designated as one of 37 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Centers in the nation funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Department of Community and Family Health is the academic home for the FPRC and offers more than 10 concentrations that lead to MPH, MSPH, DrPH, and PhD degrees. Additionally, the department offers several dual degrees, special programs, and an online graduate certificate in social marketing
Tags: Better Bites, Community Based Policy Making and Marketing, Department of Community and Family Health, Florida Prevention Research Center, graduate certificate, master of public heatlh, MPH, online graduate certificate, social marketing, Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition, USF College of Public Health