Dr. Elena Carbone of the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences was one of six nutrition experts named a Kids Eat Right Hero for December by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). These awards recognize members of the Academy from across the country who are bringing healthy change to their communities. AND is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, and Dr. Carbone was honored for her work on FuelUp&Go! an Academy-funded project that aims to use innovative technology including fitness trackers, an app, and text messages to prevent childhood obesity in Springfield, MA. She is working on this project with her doctoral candidate, Ms. Catherine Wickham.
“FuelUp&Go! is off to a great start by engaging teens in their very own Kid Council. Participants in this advisory group are providing feedback on the direction of the program, and topics discussed have included: text messages, challenges, incentives, music and the all-time favorite….recipes,” says Dr. Carbone.
“What we’ve found is that teens really do like vegetables, especially when they’re packaged as burritos and have fun names like Totally Cool Couscous. FuelUp&Go! is partnering with the Greater Springfield YMCA and Project Coach to help teens make better choices about the foods they eat, beverages they drink, and their level and amount of physical activity,” Ms. Wickham adds.