Auburn, Ala.— Eat Better. Move More. Make a Change. Three key messages featured across billboards in Alabama until March 2017. Alabama Extension’s Nutrition Education Program (NEP), nationally funded by the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–Education, created a series of billboards that aim to prevent and reduce obesity in underserved Alabama communities.
The billboard campaign will reach all corners of Alabama making an estimated 55 million impressions. The campaign includes 94 billboards in 51 counties; 80 percent of these counties are classified as rural. It is part of a comprehensive effort to change local and statewide policies, systems and environments to make healthy eating and active living more desirable and attainable.
“Eat Better: Have you had a fruit or vegetable today?” encourages Alabamians to adopt healthy eating habits, specifically fruit and vegetable consumption.
“Move More: Grab a best friend and go for a walk!” encourages Alabamians to find simple, enjoyable ways to be physically active.
MAKE A CHANGE
“Make A Change: Make water your go-to drink” encourages Alabamians to replace sugar-sweetened beverages with water on a regular basis.
For the past three years, Alabama NEP has conducted a statewide marketing campaign and evaluation. Results from phone surveys show significant increases in intention to make healthy behavior change among Alabamians who recalled the billboard messages.
“The purpose of this campaign is to create appeal for making healthy changes,” said Katie Funderburk, an Alabama Extension specialist. “Hopefully the campaign will nudge Alabamians to make a positive change.”
The billboard campaign serves as an extension of NEP’s obesity prevention efforts across Alabama. The flagship program is Body Quest, a school-based obesity prevention initiative for third graders and their parents in low-income schools and communities across the state. Body Quest has consistently shown significant increases in fruit and vegetable consumption and other healthy behaviors through impact evaluation. The billboards are placed in close proximity to Body Quest schools when possible, in an effort to raise awareness and create appeal for healthy eating in communities.