SNaX Program to Curb Childhood Obesity

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • The SNaX Program is a five-week obesity prevention and intervention program
    geared toward middle school students. Interventions in schools show much 
    promise for improving that particular nutritional environment. 

    The SNaX program employs a format that is meant to promote schoolwide 
    environmental changes and encourage students to eat healthy foods 
    that are offered in the school cafeteria. There also is peer-led education. 

    On Thursday, March 20, Dr. Laura M. Bogart will speak at the NIH Campus 
    in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Bogart will discuss the partnership with 
    participating school districts, and review the results of the control trial.

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    Dr. Bogart is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Harvard 
    Medical School and the Research Director of the Division of General 
    Pediatrics at the Boston Children’s Hospital.

    The SNaX Program

    The SNaX Intervention is a series of five one-week programs that focus on 
    the separate health themes about healthy beverages, cafeteria options, 
    the benefits of eating healthy, being physically active, and understanding the messages carried in the media. 

    Each week, students are invited to become peer leaders. They meet once a 
    week with Prevention Research Trainers (PRT) and are educated about how 
    media messaging regarding diet and exercise can be inaccurate. They also 
    learn things such as how drinking water after exercise can rehydrate 
    without the sugar found in sports drinks, as well as other simple messages.   

    Students also learn to work on counseling skills so they relate to their 
    classmates what they have learned.

    In addition, graphic designers help produce school posters that advise 
    students to be active and make healthy choices at lunch. Signs are used 
    to advertise menu items and the calorie counts of those items. PRT 
    workers also coordinate with cafeteria employees to promote nutritious 
    foods. Free filtered water is offered to all students at lunchtime.


    The Five Weeks of SNaX

    Week one focuses on beverage choices. It points out that water is a 
    healthy drink. Students are taught to give thought to what they are 

    Week two focuses on the food options in the cafeteria. Students are 
    taught that there are good tasting, healthy meals in the cafeteria and 
    educated about healthy fats.

    Week three focuses on eating a healthy diet. Information is given about 
    how food preparation and volume of consumption determines its 
    healthiness. Students are taught to identify those foods that are most 
    healthy and to know the facts about fruit and vegetables.

    Week four focuses on balancing food consumption and physical activity. 
    Students are advised about eating in moderation and why physical 
    activity is so good for them. They recommend 60 minutes of exercise 
    daily but point out that being active can be addressed in 10-minute 
    increments throughout the day.

    Week five is about understanding messages seen or heard in the media. Also,
    how fast food restaurants and snack food makers try to encourage 

  • children to buy and eat junk food.    

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    Living life well-fed,

    My Bariatric Life


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    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
    National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities 

Published On: March 05, 2014