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New Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Campaign Tackles Youth Obesity in Oklahoma 

TSET Board gets update on TSET Healthy Youth Initiative

OKLAHOMA CITY (February 23, 2021) – Oklahoma has the eighth highest youth obesity rate in the country, with an estimated 150,000 children who are classified as overweight or obese. To help reverse this trend, the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) is launching Swap Up, a media campaign focusing on youth obesity prevention across the state.

The TSET Board of Directors heard an update on the effort during a special board meeting on Friday.

The Swap Up campaign, which is part of the TSET Healthy Youth Initiative, launched Feb. 11 and delivers nutrition messages to teens 13-18 years old by providing tangible tips to incorporate into their daily lives. Teens will receive information on how to eat healthier and drink more water, which helps teens feel better, improve their studies and enjoy leisure time. 

“Obesity is linked to 13 different cancers and is a risk for factor for many of the leading causes of death in Oklahoma,” said TSET Executive Director Julie Bisbee. “Teens are influenced by their environment, their friends and social settings when it comes to the food they eat. As teens approach adulthood, they’re making more independent choices. Swap Up provides teens with realistic ways they can improve their health outcomes today and in the future.” 

Swap Up developed messages based on a research survey conducted with more than 400 Oklahoma teens. The survey provided information about eating habits, meal and snack sources, and nutrition-based knowledge, attitudes and beliefs. Oklahoma teenagers have a nearly 70% chance of being overweight or obese as adults, so the need for nutritional education was high. A follow up survey will be conducted in spring 2021 to assist in tracking impact of the campaign.

“Changing youth nutrition behaviors is a challenge. Many times teens receive messaging and information from multiple sources. Effective obesity prevention messaging must do more than just tell teens to live healthier, it must show them the what, how, where, and when of healthy living,” said Jeff Jordan, president and executive creative director of Rescue Agency. “We developed Swap Up for Oklahoma to not only provide teens with specific and attainable changes they can make, but to also illustrate how those choices can lead to a healthier, and sustainable lifestyle change.”

Beginning with the “Fuel for Football” messages, which launched the week of Feb. 8, Swap Up feature various examples about how fruits, vegetables and water can improve a teen’s mood, concentration and physical performance on various social media channels and television. In particular, youth are given specific recommendations for changing eating habits in a manner they can control such as what sides they should eat at a restaurant, selecting healthy convenience store snacks or choosing water over sugary drinks. To learn more about Swap Up, visit www.SwapUpOK.com.

The Swap Up campaign will build on TSET’s Shape Your Future messaging that encourages parents, teachers and children to build healthier habits by taking one small step at a time. Teens, parents and educators can receive tips, hacks and helpful resources at shapeyourfutureok.com.

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The TSET Healthy Youth Initiative is a statewide media effort focused on preventing and reducing tobacco use and obesity for Oklahomans ages 13-18. The initiative promotes healthy lifestyle choices for teens and gives parents resources to support their children in maintaining or developing healthy habits for a lifetime. Visit TSET Healthy Youth Initiative to learn more.

Shape Your Future (SYF) is a community health education intervention that encourages Oklahomans to eat better, move more and be tobacco free. SYF strives to educate parents, teachers, caregivers and all Oklahomans on how to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Find us online at shapeyourfutureok.com

The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working with local coalitions and initiatives across the state, cultivating innovative and life-changing research, and working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public’s health. To learn more, visit TSET.ok.gov.

TSET – Better Lives Through Better Health.