Body Quest: Food for the Warrior is a unique, cutting edge, comprehensive, partnership program in Alabama. Funded by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the Alabama Department of Human Resources, the childhood obesity prevention program is a high priority for Alabama's youth.
This fall, Body Quest classes are being taught to third-graders in schools with 50 percent or more students receiving free or reduced-price lunches. That is about 65 percent of Alabama schools, according to Dr. Barbara Struempler, an Extension specialist and professor with the Nutrition Education Program.
Body Quest is technology-driven. One teaching method is through iPad education, with more than 500 iPads teaching Body Quest to youth in rural Alabama. Each team of Extension educators has a mobile iPad laboratory that they take into the classroom to teach Body Quest.
Characters such as Shining Rainbow and Body Doctor help elementary students demonstrate bravery by trying new fruits and vegetables. Students also train for the quest of becoming more physically fit and improving sleep habits. Body Quest warriors view health as a personal choice, requiring good decision-making skills and critical thinking. It is an exciting adventure, developed as an interactive application for iPads and supported by an array of engaging activities and resources.
Evaluation data are collected every week for 17 weeks via clickers. Clicker data are uploaded and sent to Auburn University immediately following a Body Quest class.
Body Quest can supplement elementary curricula or be incorporated into after-school programs. It can be used by SNAP-Ed educators, 4-H educators or volunteers, teachers, after-school program leaders, or through other youth-serving organizations.