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Joanice Thompson


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Healthy Happy Kids


In fulfilling its mission of eliminating health disparities among
racial, ethnic and underserved populations in Alabama, the UAB
Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC)
designed the Healthy Happy Kids nutrition and physical activity
program. The purpose of this program is to prevent and reduce
childhood obesity in minority and underserved children.

The Healthy Happy Kids program consists of a Hands On 6
session curriculum targeting underserved elementary school
children attending after school programs in inner city institutions
across Alabama.

Mission and Goals

The mission of the Happy Healthy kids program is to stop the
increase in prevalence and reduce the incidence of childhood
obesity in Alabama by educating children and their parents, from
underserved communities, to pursue healthy eating and active

The goal of this program is to eliminate racial/ethnic disparities by
preventing and addressing the problem of childhood obesity
among underserved communities in Alabama, through a nutrition
and physical activity curriculum.

In order to reach this goal, the following objectives were identified:

The Pilot Program

From March to May 2008, a pilot program of Healthy Happy Kids,
which included six sessions, was held in the following four

Children created their own food pyramid, learned about
healthy snacks, and shared their recipes with family and
friends. The program culminated with an Iron Chef
competition, where chefs from Birmingham restaurants came and
created a healthy dish with the groups of students. The event was
hosted by Charles Barkley and was a huge success!