TSET Healthy Youth Initiative Sees Success in Shifting Nutrition Attitudes
Teens exposed to Swap Up messages are drinking fewer sugar-sweetened beverages
OKLAHOMA CITY (July 13, 2023) – A youth-focused program from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) is changing how Oklahoma teens look at nutrition. A new study shows Swap Up, a program of TSET’s Healthy Youth Initiative, is helping teens make healthier choices with its statewide messaging campaigns.
Swap Up shows teens how nutritional choices impact their health and mood. The program empowers teens in realistic ways to take charge of their health, by educating on healthy “swaps” for everyday beverages, snacks and side dish choices at gas stations and fast-food restaurants, as well as at home.
A recent survey shows Swap Up campaigns are effectively reaching Oklahoma teens. More than half of rural and urban teens surveyed reported they’ve seen and interacted with Swap Up through digital advertising. This is the highest level of campaign exposure and interaction since the launch of Swap Up in 2021.
The latest findings come from surveys conducted from January 31 to March 3, 2023.
Survey results also show teens who interacted with the Swap Up campaign are shifting their attitudes, beliefs and behaviors around nutrition. This is especially true for outcomes related to water and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs).
More than 80 percent of teens who had interacted with Swap Up campaigns online, by either watching ads or clicking campaign call-to-action links to the Swap Up website, believed drinking more water would help them think more clearly, improve their mood and perform better in school sports.
Teens surveyed in 2023 were significantly more likely than those in 2022 to report
they have considered or have been trying to decrease their consumption of sugary drinks. Teens who saw Swap Up messaging online were significantly more likely to report intentions to drink more water and fewer SSBs, compared to teens not familiar with Swap Up.
Additionally, teens who are aware of Swap Up were 15% more likely to have consumed fruit and 21% more likely to have consumed vegetables in the past 7 days, compared to those who had not been exposed to the campaign.
“TSET cares deeply about creating a healthier future for all Oklahomans. When our data shows that teens who saw the campaign made healthier choices, that’s encouraging,” said Julie Bisbee, executive director of TSET. “We launched this effort in 2021 knowing that young people in our state had room for improvement in their nutrition. Swap Up empowers teens to make healthier choices. This is essential for our state if we want to prevent more serious issues like heart disease, diabetes and obesity.”
The findings from the survey, along with other scientific research, will be used to inform future campaign messaging – keeping it relevant to reach more Oklahoma teens. These results will also be included in updates on the Swap Up website.
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The TSET Healthy Youth Initiative empowers Oklahoma youth to improve health outcomes for themselves and future generations. The initiative includes statewide public health education messaging, a youth-led advocacy program and character-building to reduce tobacco use and obesity. The initiative also gives parents resources to support their children in maintaining or developing healthy habits for a lifetime. Visit TSETHealthyYouth.com to learn more.
The 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, go to Oklahoma.gov/TSET.