Utah State University Extension in Salt Lake County received one of the first ever Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grants to address childhood obesity.
“We are facing the first generation of children in the United States who can expect to have a shorter lifespan than the previous generation,” said Utah Congressman Chris Cannon at the presentation of the $26,193 grant.
The grant will help the Salt Lake County 4-H Youth Development Program launch a new program called Teens Reaching Youth (TRY). It will train 40 local teens to conduct nutrition workshops for younger children through a mentoring program emphasizing positive role models.
Donna Carter, 4-H Extension agent for Salt Lake County, said the TRY team approach has proven that children respond better to their peers than to an adult. The team members will mentor children in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Nedra Christensen, USU Extension nutrition specialist, helped develop the program's curriculum along with Kristen Strong, USU department of nutrition and food sciences graduate student. The two said the program will emphasize physical activity, eating more fruits and vegetables and choosing low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
Results from the 2003–2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that an estimated 66 percent of adults in the United States were either overweight or obese, and 17 percent of children and adolescents (ages 2 to 19) were overweight.
The Dannon Company established the grants in 2006 to promote childhood nutrition education. The company contributes up to $120,000 to four nonprofit organizations that operate in the four communities where a Dannon facility is located. Each organization developed a program that nurtures healthy eating habits among children in the community and encourages children to develop life-long habits of good nutrition and exercise.
“Dannon’s role in society extends far beyond the production of healthy, delicious foods,” said Gayle Binney, manager, Corporate Responsibility for The Dannon Company. “Through the Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grants, Dannon is pleased to take a more active role in the communities in which it operates. This year’s grant winners have created programs that are closely aligned with Dannon’s mission of helping to create healthier, happier communities and families.”
Writer: Dennis Hinkamp 435-797-1392
Contact: Donna Carter 801-468-2695