This is really nuts.
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville has scored a $4.8 million grant of taxpayer money to pay college students to dress up like bananas, grapes and assorted edibles to try to make healthy eating cool.
The project is part of a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture that claims to “fund critical research that will help USDA and our partners implement effective strategies to support America’s next generation so they can have a healthy childhood and develop healthy habits for life,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release.
The program is called “Get Fruved” as in FRUits and VEgetables, believe it or not. It even has its own website, fruved.com, that helpfully explains how spending almost $5 million to get young men and women to dress up like the Fruit of the Loom ads is a good use taxpayer dollars.
This project uses a non-diet approach to weight management and does not promote a special diet to manage weight. Instead, it promotes healthy behavior associated with weight management with messages that support a positive healthy body image …
The students will also use a variety of social media strategies during the campaign (including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter). The characters will interact with students on campus and recruit them to be on their team. Photos and videos of interactions and character skits will be photographed and filmed and put on the website, Facebook, and YouTube. Campaign events will also include characters appearing on student television, in the student newspaper, on the radio, and at events on campus.
Once that crucial step is completed, the program will be expanded to high school, then middle school and finally to grade school students until everyone in the whole country who’s still eligible to be on their parents’ health insurance gets told what their moms have been telling them since they were old enough to hold a spoon.
And it’s using Facebook! And YouTube! And Twitter!
Students will address behaviors include healthy eating, physical activity, managing stress, emotional well-being, and maintaining positive social systems. The students will be advocates for environmental change on their campus to support these positive health behaviors.
All of that for only $5 million — from the federal department that’s in charge of food stamps.
Check out the video here, and see what that money is getting.
It really is nuts.
H/T: CNS News
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