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Let’s Eat Healthy: Teens (Online)

Dairy Council of California

Overview

Dairy Council of California’s Let’s Eat Healthy: Teens (LEH Teens) is a direct education intervention, which consists of four online lessons that seek to improve high school students’ awareness of their food environment and the link between food and health. The lesson content is accessible online and includes a teacher guide with instructional slide presentations to inform and engage high school students through common technology platforms. The program aligns with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the California Health Education Content Standards, encouraging self-reflection, goal setting, and balanced eating habits. 

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Reducing Screen Time

Intervention Type: Direct Education

Intervention Reach and Adoption

LEH Teens is no cost and designed for high school students. This includes low-income population schools. It can be accessed online and if technology is not available it can be taught without it, with additional educator preparation. Testing the program in a variety of high schools helped develop lessons that were relevant to the target audience. It could easily be used in a clinical setting for patient education classes or one-one nutrition counseling. 

Setting: School (Learn)

Target Audience: High School

Race/Ethnicity: No special focus

Intervention Components

LEH Teens is an interactive, four-lesson program that empowers students to take small steps to better eating and healthier habits. It was created in collaboration with registered dietitians and education professionals to provide an engaging learning experience for students. LEH Teens features include: 

  • Relevant topics important to teen health 
  • Engaging lessons, activities and interactive surveys and quizzes 
  • Turnkey lessons and educator tools 
  • Current, research-based nutrition information 
  • Alignment to California Health and PE standards
  • Lessons and resources available at no charge 

 

Intervention Materials

LEH Teens materials include an Educator Guide with teaching tools and online lessons, both available at HealthyEating.org/Teens. 

Intervention Costs

Materials are available at no cost.

Evidence Summary

Let’s Eat Healthy Teens was released in 2020 as an adaptation from the Eat Move Win online program. Data from Let’s Eat Healthy Teens demonstrate the following outcomes from student-reported survey data: 

The Let’s Eat Healthy Teens lessons were adapted from a previous technology program, Eat Move Win, in 2020. A formative evaluation was conducted to assess the effectiveness of the EMW program at changing students’ nutrition knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy, barriers, home environment, and dietary intake behavior. Results from the evaluations (student pre- and post-surveys, quizzes as part of the lessons) showed the following after completing the EMW lessons: 

  • Students answered an average of 71-75% of the online nutrition knowledge quiz questions correctly. 
  • Students showed significant improvements in attitudes towards trying and eating healthy foods, and significant improvements in self-efficacy (i.e., confidence) to eat healthy foods and limit unhealthy foods. 
  • Students reported significantly increased consumption of milk (+0.18 servings/day), whole grain bread (+0.13 servings/day) and pasta/rice (+0.12 servings/day), and breakfast. They also reported significantly decreased consumption of soda (-0.10 servings/day) and marginally decreased consumption of cookies (-0.07 servings/day). 

Unintended outcomes included the following: 

  • Classroom observers noted that student engagement with, understanding of, and interest in EMW content as moderate to high. 
  • Changes in attitudes, self-efficacy, and dietary intake behaviors were similar in direction and size between high school students receiving the EMW program and a control group that did not receive the program. The lack of differences between these groups suggests that caution should be exerted when attributing observed changes to EMW exposure, as other outside factors could account for these effects. 

In 2014, they conducted interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders, classroom teachers and students to assess their needs.  

Evidence-based Approach: Practice-tested

Evaluation Indicators

Based on the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework, the following outcome indicators can be used to evaluate intervention progress and success.

Readiness and Capacity – Short Term (ST) Changes – Medium Term (MT) Effectiveness and Maintenance – Long Term (LT) Population Results (R)
Individual ST1, ST2, ST3, ST4 MT1, MT2, MT3 LT1, LT2, LT3 R
Environmental Settings ST5
Sectors of Influence

Evaluation Materials

Additional Information

Website: The Let’s Eat Healthy website includes lessons, activities, quizzes, research-based nutrition information, and quick steps to get started.  

Contact Person(s):
Tracy Mendez
Resource & Content Development Manager, Dairy Council of California, California Department of Food & Agriculture 
Phone: 916-263-3560
Email: tmendez@dairycouncilofca.org

Lisa Larsen
Resource & Content Development Manager, Dairy Council of California, California Department of Food & Agriculture 
Phone: 916-263-3560
Email: llarsen@dairycouncilofca.org

 

*Updated as of August 23, 2023