What Is 4‑H Healthy Habits?

The Healthy Habits program uses a four-pronged approach to strategically leverage the 4‑H system to address food access, nutrition and health equity for underserved youth and families across the country:

  • Deploys university-backed, impactful programming.
  • Reaches diverse audiences through local partnerships.
  • Engages youth voice for more impactful delivery and clear messaging.
  • Provides a system of sustainability to enable continued impact for underserved youth and their families in urban and rural communities.

How It Works

Leveraging the proven influence of young people, 4‑H Healthy Habits engages teens to empower their peers and families today and to help establish sustainable, healthy habits for their families and communities tomorrow.

The program employs a ‘Teens as Teachers” approach with teens educating younger youth and empowering their parents and families to make healthy food choices.

Impact

4‑H Healthy Habits changed the lives of kids and teens around the U.S. in 2018-2019:

  • 95% of teen participants reported they acquired leadership skills and knowledge in 4‑H Healthy Living
  • 79% of youth report they gave their family ideas for healthy meals or snacks
  • 69% of youth report they always or usually pay attention to how much water they drink every day
  • 70% of youth report they eat at least one meal each day with their families

4‑H Youth Healthy Habits Survey

Survey finds teens believe access to healthy food is a basic human right and aim to solve food insecurity in the wake of COVID-19

A new survey commissioned by National 4‑H Council explores teen perceptions around health and nutrition. The survey, which polled over 1,500 diverse youth between the ages of 13-19 nationwide, investigated youth perceptions on the topics of food access, nutrition and health equity. The survey was conducted online from March 9 to March 16, 2020.

Download the survey results below to learn more.

Key Findings

  • Teens are interested in being active participants in solving the food crisis, particularly now during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a majority said they would like to/or have donated money and/or volunteered within their communities.
  • Almost all teens believe “access to healthy food is a basic human right.”
  • 85 percent say junk food is more accessible and cost effective, which usually drives decision making for their families and friends.
  • 68 percent say they satisfy their hunger with junk food because it’s more accessible to them at school than healthy food.
  • Most teens wish there were healthier food options in their community (74%) and at home (69%), while 1 in 4 reported having to drive 30 minutes to buy groceries.
  • Most teens (66%) are spending more time deciding what they want to watch on Netflix and YouTube than thinking about what they eat.
  • 73 percent say that they would work harder to eat healthier if healthy foods tasted better.

Healthy Habits Survey Results

Full PDF Report

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Summary Infographic

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More Healthy Living Research

Walmart’s investment of over $13 million across the last decade has provided more than 1 million youth and families with important nutrition education. The investment has also built the capacity of 4‑H educators, providing them with tools and training to help them reach underserved audiences in African, Latino and Native American communities with culturally relevant programming.

Healthy Habits White Paper

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Healthy Habits White Paper Reflection

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