This generation is the first one slated to live a shorter lifespan than that of their parents. Global marketing of fat-laden junk foods and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle have led to soaring obesity rates among our country’s youth, leading to higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, and premature death due to heart attack than ever before.
Something’s got to change.
But change isn’t easy to come by. Changing the lifestyle habits of adults is a tiny bit easier; dealing with weight gain, medical bills, and prescription medications often spurs change within a person after years of health complications.
But kids? Well, kids are a different story. Most don’t even realize they’re unhealthy and those who do rarely know the extent to which their diet now will affect their health in later years.
As it stands, one-third of adolescents in the U.S. are obese. One in four is suffering from diabetes. Half of all students skip breakfast, leading to limited energy, poor attention, and lower test scores.
NutriBullet is on a mission to change these statistics. We want to see if introducing fruits and vegetables in the classroom in the form of a delicious NutriBlast will help change not only the taste buds of high-school students, but their overall health as well. After all, health doesn’t have to mean eating flavorless salads day after day! Along with diet and health education, we hope to empower kids to take their health into their own hands and show them that healthy eating doesn’t have to be a drag, so they become more than poor health statistics and help start a health revolution.
We recently partnered with a leader in the local community who has taken it upon herself to make powerful changes in her high school students. Kerri Eich, the director of Health and Nutrition at University High School in Los Angeles, has not only made drastic changes in the lives of her students, but has changed the physical landscape of University High School forever!
Over the past 3 years she has built over 25 raised bed gardens, an ampitheatre in the garden for learning and has planted over 75 fruits trees. Fresh fruit and vegetables are becoming easily accessible to students at UNI and they're even setting up their very own farmers' markets!
Understanding high school students proved challenging. How do we connect with them? How do we help them understand the importance of being healthy? How do we make it upbeat and fun? With over 7 years' worth of experience at UNI high, Kerri was was able to help us introduce a healthier diet into the lives of students in a way that made them feel connected to the material. She has taken the UNI Project to a new level by integrating students' daily Blasts into their course work and learning plans.
The UNI Project continues to reveal incredible changes in the students and incredible challenges, too. We have an amazing team working with the students, but will that be enough to move them beyond their dislike for veggies and the stigma of "gross" green, leafy food?
Follow our progress with #theUNIproject as we launch the program on October 29, 2013 and let us know what you think!