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WISR STUDENT, KAREN YOUNG AWARDED A MINI GRANT FOR PROJECT TO DECREASE CONSUMPTION OF SUGAR SWEETENED BEVERAGES AMONG YOUNG ADULTS

As part of her WISR doctoral course work, Karen Young recently completed an evaluation of a projected funded by a $10,000 mini grant by LifeLong Medical Care and the City of Berkeley to implement a health education and awareness project. The goal of this project, called “Water Wise” was to decrease the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages and increase the consumption of water. The Water Wise awareness competition was an internet competition where individuals and groups age 16 to 24, were able to express the benefits of drinking water and the harmful effects of drinking sugar sweetened soft drinks in a 3 minute video. The Water Wise videos were much like infomercials disseminating a diverse but consistent message regarding healthy hydration. Each contestant was competing for cash awards to get the most online views of their health education awareness video. During the course of the project, there were a total of 3,706 unduplicated video views or votes. A total of twenty (20) videos were uploaded on the Water Wise Website, https://waterwiseics4.wixsite.com/mysite

Beyond this project, alone, Karen’s research suggests that “When a community is not consulted about messaging, the messages may not be received openly or not at all. When the gate keepers or the experts do not consult the appropriate leadership, they may not have the power to convince a community about what is relevant, important or necessary.”

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