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TSET Releases New Obesity Prevention Messaging for Teens

New commercials aim to initiate conversation between parents and youth about healthy eating options

OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 8, 2021) – Swap Up is launching two new health education messages aimed at preventing childhood obesity. The campaign is a program of the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) Healthy Youth Initiative.

The Swap Up campaign messages focus on teaching Oklahomans ages 13-18 about how the foods they eat impact the way they feel and how they perform in school and during physical activity. Messaging kicks off on TV, cable and radio November 8 and launched on social media in early October.

“The Swap Up campaign was created for teens who are starting to make more of their own food choices,” said TSET Executive Director Julie Bisbee. “As a mom, I know how important it is that kids have good information about nutrition and understand how the foods they eat will affect their mental and physical performance and their overall health.”

The messages, featured during family programming on television and cable networks in November, create the opportunity for parents and teenagers to have conversations about healthy eating. The educational messages arm adults and youth with information about how they can swap in healthier foods and drinks at home, in school and when snacking.

  • “Happy Snacks” features a Native American male teenager in a convenience store. He shares that sometimes he craves something sweet, but has noticed how eating pastries and desserts brings his mood down. As he walks through the store, the labels on the packaged foods around him change from things like "Brownie Bites" to "Bummer”. He continues to the refrigerated section where he grabs a fresh fruit cup and notes that fresh fruit both satisfies his sweet tooth and makes him feel good.
  • “Super Sides” features a teenaged female at a fast food restaurant. While she looks over the menu, she talks about how she used to eat all of the greasy menu choices, but they made her feel sluggish. As she speaks, the menu labels change from things like ”Tater Tots to “Sluggish Tots” and she notes that she has now swapped up to a side salad instead, which gives her energy.

In spring 2021, TSET conducted an online survey with over 200 Oklahoma teens to gauge year 1 impact of the Swap Up campaign. Teens aware of the campaign were found to be significantly more likely to report that eating fruits and vegetables is important to them compared to teens unaware of the campaign. Teens aware of the campaign were also significantly more likely than those unaware of the campaign to agree that if they were to drink more water, they would perform better in sports/exercise. Other highlights from the tracker included:

  • Overall Swap Up campaign awareness is high at 72%
  • The Swap Up campaign was found to be relevant among 67% of participants
  • 82% of teens identifying as overweight reported the Swap Up campaign provide information that can help them improve their nutrition
  • 80% of overweight participants agreed that the recommendations in the “Fuel for Football” and “Blank-Minded” ads were something they find acceptable to try at least once
  • 75% agreed the recommendations in Swap Up ads were things they could realistically do over and over again as a new routine
  • 67% of teens reported that they drank a bottle or glass of water 2+ times per day in the past 7 days, up from 62% in 2020

In addition to the new messaging, TSET has created free Swap Up resources for educators and health care providers, including flyers, bookmark brochures and display holders. These items, which are specifically focused on healthier eating options as well as tobacco cessation resources, can be ordered for no change at TSETHealthyYouth.com/order.

Teens can also engage with Swap Up online at SwapUpOK.com for an interactive learning experience.

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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 TSETHealthyYouth.com to learn more.

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.