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How do we get kids to eat more fruits and vegetables? Alabama SNAP-Ed finds answers with Body Quest. 

| Alabama

Oct 26, 2018
body quest characters

Body Quest (BQ) helps families in Alabama to Eat Better, Move More, and Make Changes. BQ began as a theory-based, technology-driven nutrition program for 3rd graders. It has evolved into a multi-level, statewide obesity prevention movement!

“BQ has gotten my third grader excited about veggies, and it trickles down to the kindergartner. I am very excited there is something like this at the school to educate people how important food is for your body.” --- BQ parent participant

Program Impact

Kids and parents Eat Better:

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Eat a bigger variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Drink fewer sugary beverages, and drink more water
  • Drink more low-fat milk

Kids and parents Move More:

  • Increase physical activity

Parents Make Changes:

  • Choose healthy foods for their families more often
  • Read Nutrition Facts labels more often
  • Run out of food less often
Body Question Food of the Warrior

What is Body Quest?

3rd graders participate in 15 weekly classes including:

  • Educator-led discussions on food groups, balanced meals, nutrients, and healthy snacking
  • Guided vegetable tasting experiences
  • iPad lessons narrated by anime-style Body Quest Warriors

Parents receive:

  • 7 inexpensive, kid-friendly vegetable recipes to make and try with kids at home
  • 3 text messages each week with tips for healthy eating, shopping for healthy foods, and being active
  • Weekly educational materials, such as family discussion prompts and physical activity calendars

Social marketing and policy, system and environmental changes support BQ through:

  • Live Well Alabama campaign with billboards placed near Body Quest schools
  • Live Well Alabama social media campaign (Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest) promoted to BQ parents
  • Cafeteria and school signs promoting healthy choices
  • School gardens and other school wellness initiatives

Type of Program

Nutrition Education; Direct Education; PSE Changes

Years of Implementation

2010 – Present

Number of Participants

During the 2016-2017 school year SNAP-Ed educators provided BQ to more than 5,000 third graders in 55 Alabama counties and engaged almost 5,000 parents.

Program Evaluation

Statewide impact evaluation of BQ was conducted with schools randomly assigned to treatment or control groups. Both treatment and control groups participated in pre- and post-assessments. Treatment participants received an intervention between assessments. Control participants received delayed intervention after completing all assessments.

For previously published impact data on this intervention:

Griffin, J.B., Struempler, B., Funderburk, K., Tran, C., Parmer, S., & Wadsworth, D. (2018). MyQuest, an intervention using text messaging to improve dietary and physical activity behaviors and promote weight loss in low-income women in Alabama. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 50 (1), 11-18.

Funderburk, K., Struempler, B., Parmer, S.M., & Griffin, J.B. (2018). Body Quest Parent: A text message education intervention to supplement a school-based obesity prevention initiative for third-graders. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 50 (4), 415-417.e1. 

This article was submitted by Alabama Extension's SNAP-Ed at Auburn University. For more information please contact Katie Funderburk or Sondra Parmer.