PROVO -- Getting kids to eat healthy and be active can be a challenge, but the Intermountain LiVe campaign is working to change that. With cultural references ranging from Shakespeare to Lady Gaga, the new LiVe assembly is aimed at teaching children healthy habits in a fun way.
On Thursday morning the students at Heritage School in Provo got a chance to see the assembly. Those performing say the students at Heritage School, a youth residential treatment center, were the oldest crowd they had performed for, but students still enjoyed the show.
"I thought it was really entertaining," Allison, a senior, said. "It was also very informational, and I think it is a reminder to eat healthy and be active."
The performance is based around eight healthy habits that were developed by Intermountain Healthcare. The eight habits fall into three categories: get in a good food mood, which includes eating breakfast, eating fruits and vegetables and giving up sugary drinks; just be active, which includes watching less TV and increasing physical activity; and the support each other category includes eating meals as a family, being positive about food and not criticizing people about weight. The three actors used many different scenes to get their message across.
"I thought some of it was silly," Heritage School senior Garrett said. "But that is what will make people remember. It is those silly ninja scenes that will remind us to eat half a plate of vegetables. It comes across better than just telling students."
The LiVe campaign was started nearly five years ago by Intermountain Healthcare.
"It all comes back to childhood obesity. In Utah 25 percent of our children are either overweight or obese," Terry Behunin, program coordinator of the LiVe campaign, said. "You can't go in and tell a child they need to lose weight. We wanted to give them a set of guidelines that they could live by that if they did follow the weight would take care of itself."
All three actors in the show are from Utah. They say the program has changed their lives as well.
"I am out here promoting being active and being healthy, so I feel like I have to live it," Erica Walters of Salt Lake City said. "I might be really tired, but I am still getting my butt to the gym."
The LiVe campaign travels throughout Utah, visiting 30 schools each fall and 30 schools each spring. In addition to getting the assembly, schools receive a kit that includes lesson plans and other materials to keep the conversation going long after the show is over.
"This is a really funny show," actress Alicia Washington of Layton said. "We want to engage them in a conversation and get them to take charge of their lives with these little things they can do."
The assembly will be performed at Pleasant Grove Junior High on March 14 and Discovery Academy on March 16.
Behunin says the spring shows for this year are already completely filled and the fall spots are filling up quickly. To schedule an assembly visit intermountainlive.org.
The LiVe program is now being used in California, Michigan, Oklahoma and Indiana in addition to Utah.