In response to the pediatric obesity epidemic, HSS developed and implemented the SNEAKER program in 2003. This 7-week interactive nutrition and physical activity education program is designed to provide children and families with essential knowledge about healthy eating and physical activity. The SNEAKER curriculum focuses on portion control, whole grains and fiber, fruits and vegetables, beverages, physical activity, protein and dairy, and fast food and snacks. The program provides interactive lessons which help to teach students the importance of eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and being physically active, encourage children to make healthier food choices, and educate students about how to be more physically active. Understanding the important and influential role parents and caregivers have on a child’s diet, SNEAKER contains a parent/caregiver component wherein weekly newsletters are sent home to educate the parent/caregiver about the lessons their child learned in school so they can help foster healthy changes for the child and the entire family.
The SNEAKER program is implemented in public schools and after-school programs largely located in medically underserved areas throughout NYC including East Harlem, Harlem, the Lower East Side, and Manhattan’s Chinatown. Residents in these areas are predominantly Hispanic/Latino, Black and Asian. Community partners have played an integral role in the adaptation and implementation of SNEAKER partnering with more than 20 separate community-based organizations from public and religious schools to the local Girl Scouts, many located in underserved areas, to reach children and families of diverse ethnic backgrounds.
Public & Patient Education
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