By Jennifer Read
Curbing obesity among adolescents is essential to improving long-term health outcomes. Here at DHEC Public Health, we’ve partnered with Eat Smart, Move More SC and the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health to create the HYPE program, which helps young people learn how to make healthier food and lifestyle choices.
The Healthy Young People Empowerment (HYPE) program is an initiative that allows young leaders – with the guidance of adult advisors – to develop projects focused on healthy eating and active living. Thanks to grant funding from our Healthy South Carolina Initiative, more than 100 young leaders ages 12-17 are engaged in active HYPE teams in Beaufort, Berkeley, Fairfield, Marlboro, Orangeburg, and Richland Counties.
The HYPE teams are undertaking several projects in these counties to engage their peers in healthy eating and active living activities. For example, in Fairfield County, HYPE is working to establish a fitness club and to create a campaign to encourage students to drink more water at school. In Berkeley County, HYPE is conducting a community park assessment to help an upcoming community center better promote health and physical activity.
To learn more about the great work these young leaders are doing to help South Carolinians eat healthier and move more, visit the HYPE website.