“Get Fruved” grant easy target for critics - The Packer

“Get Fruved” grant easy target for critics

03/19/2014 09:42:00 AM
Tom Karst

Tom KarstFeds spend millions dressing creepy students up as fruits, vegetables” is the way the Daily Caller headlined a story about a new anti-obesity grant recently awarded to eight universities.

Here is the lede from The Daily Caller story:

 “The federal government gave nearly $5 million to the University of Tennessee in support of its creepy healthy-eating campaign, which dresses students up as fruits and vegetables and films them terrorizing the residence halls.

It’s called “Get Fruved.”

The campaign already has a website and YouTube account, where it has posted several “Get Fruved” videos. The videos feature college students disguised as various fruits and vegetables, such as grapes and carrots.

In one video, the male student in the grape costume approaches a female student and says, “You’re looking grape today!”

 And so on. The story, of course, isn’t as outrageous as the headline writer would have as believe.The actual news release that The Packer received on this story read like this:

 GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida students will create obesity prevention programs for their peers and later, for high school students, as part of a $4.9 million federal research and extension grant awarded last week.

University of Tennessee Assistant Professor Sarah Colby will lead the national study, called “Get Fruved,” a phrase that alludes to fruits and vegetables.

“Get Fruved” is a campaign that uses peer interaction to try to get high school and college students to eat more fruits and vegetables, exercise more and manage stress more effectively.

Anne Mathews, an assistant professor in Food Science and Human Nutrition at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, will be the primary investigator for UF’s part of the study, while Karla Shelnutt, a UF assistant professor in Family, Youth and Community Sciences, will act as a project consultant.

“Preventing obesity and its health consequences is achieved through long-term adoption of health behaviors such as being physically active, eating a healthful diet, rich in fruits and vegetables,” Mathews said.

The project uses a research method in which college students help develop strategies to teach younger students to live healthier lifestyles, she said. UF researchers hope that using students for the project will encourage others their age to heed the message.

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