COMING UP in California Agriculture: Improving youth, family and community health across California
Above, a fourth-grade student pedals the “smoothie bike” to blend a spinach banana smoothie at an ANR-sponsored health fair in Sacramento County.
Scientists from UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) have launched a 5-year program to promote healthy lifestyles, science literacy and positive youth development. By combining research, education and community partnerships, UC's Healthy Families and Communities strategic initiative ( http://ucanr.org/sites/HFC ) aims to improve health and scientific understanding across the state.
In the next issue of California Agriculture journal, these scientists review ongoing research and present new findings in youth development, childhood obesity, nutrition, garden-based education, farm-to-school linkages, teen financial literacy and 4-H volunteer training. The initiative is pursuing measurable changes that increase fitness levels, improve dietary outcomes and decrease obesity rates; improve science test scores and graduation rates, college enrollment and young adult employment; encourage more healthful school and community environments; promote greater equity for racial and ethnic groups; secure funding for effective programs; and empower citizens to use research to improve conditions in their own communities.