PHOTO: Brooke Jenkins-Howard, UK NEP curriculum coordinator
Billboards featuring a wildcat dressed as a super hero have popped up all over the state. The billboards are part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Snack Like A Superhero” promotion.
A Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education campaign, the signs were placed in 93 counties. They will remain at their current locations for three months.
“The goal of the campaign is to help limited-resource families choose nutritious options,” said Debra Cotterill, director of the Kentucky Nutrition Education Programs with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.
Overweight and obesity is not just an adult problem in Kentucky. According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey for 2013, 15.4 percent of the state’s high school students are overweight. Another 18 percent are considered obese.
In addition to the billboards, SNAP-Ed program assistants and family and consumer sciences extension agents will reinforce healthy eating concepts with limited-resource children and families in their communities. Children will receive the magazine Chop Chop, which includes healthy, easy-to-prepare recipes, and a recipe card modeled after the billboard that includes a recipe for a fruit and frozen yogurt treat.
“We are using targeted messaging to reach children and families regarding small behavior changes they can make in their eating to improve their health,” said Ann Vail, assistant director of UK Family and Consumer Sciences Extension. “We hope families will work together to make these changes.”
County-specific campaign information is available at county offices of the UK Cooperative Extension Service.
Program organizers will release another billboard campaign later this year.
Debra Cotterill, 859-257-2948