Part of the SNAP-Ed Strategies & Interventions Toolkit.*
Youth-led Participatory Action Research Projects (YPAR) engage youth in projects that address and promote nutrition and physical activity issues in their community. YPAR aims to empower youth and achieve policy, systems, and environmental change efforts related to health, nutrition, and physical activity. An adult ally works with the youth to help mentor, support, and facilitate the youth team. Through YPAR, youth engage in leadership, critical thinking, problem solving, strategizing skills, and service learning to address their target issue related to nutrition and physical activity.
YPAR primarily targets middle and high school youth (ages 12-18) in school and community settings. YPAR projects may also target upper-elementary-aged youth. Youth work with an adult ally on projects related to nutrition and physical activity issues in their school or community. YPAR projects have been implemented across California in both urban and rural areas.
Case studies have been conducted on numerous YPAR projects throughout both urban and rural areas of California. Positive results related to improvements in nutrition and physical activity behaviors among youth, their peers and families; increased access to fruits, vegetables and clean drinking water in schools and communities; new skills and exposure to new experiences acquired in youth; and expansion of successful projects to additional sites, new partners, additional funding, media attention, and other health improvement efforts.
* SNAP-Ed Strategies & Interventions: An Obesity Prevention Toolkit for States is a compilation of interventions. The toolkit was developed by USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, The Association of SNAP-Ed Nutrition Education Administrators (ASNNA), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Center for Training and Research Translation (Center TRT), and the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR), a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes for Health (NIH), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the USDA. It is designed and updated to help state SNAP-Ed administrative and implementing agencies identify evidence-based obesity prevention programs and policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) strategies and interventions to include in their SNAP-Ed plans.