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McIntosh County 4-H staff respond with local programming to stem the epidemic of overweight and lethargic youth.


Childhood overweight is one of the most pressing child health issues in Georgia and in the nation, and children in the lowest income brackets are at particular risk. The national prevalence of overweight (BMI greater than 95%) has tripled among older children and adolescents in the last 20-30 years (Freedman, Khan, Serdula, Ogden and Dietz, 2006). The Bogalusa Heart Study found that approximately 60% of overweight children 5-10 years of age already had one cardiovascular disease factor, such as high blood pressure (Freedman, Dietz, Srinivasan and Berenson, 1999). The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension can play an important role in the primary prevention of childhood overweight by providing nutrition education to school age youth.


The County Extension Agent and Program Assistant in McIntosh County were selected to be a part of the EFNEP Childhood Overweight Prevention Project (COPP) in Georgia. The staff taught a series of lessons to children in McIntosh County using the Georgia 4-H Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles Curriculum. The lessons focused on five topics to teach programs to help decrease childhood overweight. Lessons included: Eating a balanced diet, including a variety of foods (My Pyramid); Right sized portions; Increasing fruit and vegetable intake; increasing physical activity; and decreasing consumption of high sugar beverages. Nutrition classes were also held during summer programs and focused on healthy lifestyles and making good decisions regarding food choices.


: 127 students from McIntosh County completed “post then pre” evaluations. From the evaluation at the conclusion of the healthy lifestyles lessons: ____33% reported that they decreased the amount of sweet tea and soda they consumed ____47% gained knowledge on the nutrient density of foods ____30% increased the amount of fruits and fruit juice consumed daily ____31% increased the amount of vegetables consumed daily ____21% increased their exercise and physical activity ____50% gained knowledge on how to read food labels to compare fat and calories in food ____26% improved their food safety habits ____51% gained knowledge about serving sizes of foods ____28% will try to eat foods from all groups every day

State Issue

Food, Nutrition and Health


  • Year: 2010
  • Geographic Scope: County
  • County: McIntosh
  • Program Areas:
    • 4-H Youth
    • Family and Consumer Sciences


  • Hickey, Gregory J.


CAES Collaborator(s)

  • Hanula, Gail M
  • Miller, Barbara J.
  • Poole, Marilyn L.
  • Williams, Tiffany N
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Extension Impact