College of Arts and Sciences
Primary Subject Area
Health Sciences, Nursing; Health Sciences, Public Health
Community Health Nursing, Nutrition, Physical Activity, BMI, Mentoring, Health Education
Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health and Community Nursing
Obesity has become an epidemic in the United States, affecting individuals of all ages. Adolescents are particularly susceptible to obesity due to their decrease in physical activity, as well as to the greater availability of foods void of nutritional value. Adolescents’ impressionable natures and changing bodies also contribute to their increased weights. To combat the problem of obesity, many schools have implemented obesity prevention programs. Most of these programs are based on physical education and nutrition education. However, some schools have started mentorship programs, or worked with organizations that employ mentorship programs, to prevent obesity. The Lynchburg Healthy Living program was created to teach at-risk adolescents about exercise and nutrition, as well as to provide them with a role model and coach in how to live a healthy life. The study examined effects of the program on participants’ body mass index (BMI), self-reported nutrition and physical activity habits, and perceived health knowledge.