State Superintendent of Arizona, Tom Horne, wants exercise and nutrition taught in the schools. He desires to encourage teachers to create lessons plans that explain why students should make healthier choices nutritionally.  Horne mentions that “You need to know the reasons. You need to know what the junk food does to you. You need to know what being sedentary does to you. You need to know why eating green vegetables are good for you.” Horne believes that with knowledge, behavior will change.

I could not agree more. As a former physical education teacher, and current health nut, I know that behavior needs to change to create new habits. But, before behavior changes, you will need to have a wake-up call about why your old behavior can be damaging your body, mind and spirit.  I was shocked when I realized that certain foods I was eating contained more calories than are recommended for my daily requirements. Education is the only answer for young people who are just starting to develop new habits.

Take it from Chad Bullock, the 19 year old NC teen who won the 2008 Teen Choice Award for his work in tobacco prevention. He understands the value of educating youth to make healthier decisions and his efforts are helping teens to think twice about lighting up. Bullock confirms that “many smokers are putting down the cigarette for a day and many are even quitting for good!”

What are you doing to make a difference with the lives of young people?

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