About P.H.A.T.
P.H.A.T.Consultants & Talent
P.H.A.T Events
Tips for Organizing a P.H.A.T. Campaign
Press Releases

The California Adolescent Nutrition and Fitness Program (CANFit) launched the Promoting Healthy Activities Together (P.H.A.T.) Campaign in 2002 to improve the nutrition and physical activity knowledge, attitudes, skills and behaviors of African-American 10-14 year olds participating in after school programs in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Using a community-based approach, the P.H.A.T. campaign embraced music, dance, emceeing, and other elements of hip-hop culture (in community centers, schools, after school programs and other organized settings) to deliver important messages about healthy eating and physical activity. Over a two month period, 80+ youth from Bay Area programs and schools worked two to three hours each week with local hip-hop talent to incorporate their own nutrition and fitness messages into raps, artwork, and hip-hop dance routines which were featured at the P.H.A.T. Community Health and Hip-Hop Showcase and featured in the P.H.A.T. video.

In addition to creating the P.H.A.T. campaign, CANFit provides nutrition and physical activity training and resources for youth service providers and has developed other ethnic specific campaigns such as the Latino-focused, Adelante Con Leche Semi-Descremada 1% (1998) and the Asian American and Pacific Islander R.E.A.L. (Redefining Excellence Activity and Leadership) campaign (2003).

P.H.A.T. Evaluation
The goal of the P.H.A.T. campaign was to promote good nutrition and physical activity among African American youth ages 10-14 and facilitate the incorporation of nutrition and physical activity into organizations serving African American youth.

Objectives for participating youth included increasing overall awareness and knowledge of nutrition and fitness issues that impact African American youth, increasing positive attitudes towards eating and physical activity, and improving behaviors (i.e., increasing water consumption, decreasing soda and fast food consumption, and increasing physical activity).

Objectives for participating programs included increasing staff awareness of nutrition and physical activity issues and increasing resources available to programs to implement nutrition and physical activity at their sites.

Evaluations were conducted before the implementation of P.H.A.T., at the beginning, end, and one year post. Youth completed surveys that assessed their nutrition and physical activity knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Programs completed surveys that assessed the nutrition and physical activity conditions at their site including snacks served, access to unhealthy foods, time spent on activities that support nutrition and physical activity, their program experience during P.H.A.T., changes their program has made, and how their youth have responded. Results at the completion of the P.H.A.T. campaign show that participating youth did increase their water consumption and improved their attitudes. Programs also improved the nutrition and physical activity environments of their sites.

Program Results at the completion of P.H.A.T.
67% programs reported that they noticed changes (snack choices, topics of conversation, and activity patterns) in their youth since participating in P.H.A.T.

When asked how each program will continue to incorporate nutrition and physical activity, responses included:

•Serving healthy snacks.

•Informing youth what are unhealthy choices.

•Continuing to incorporate nutrition into curriculum.

•Implimenting more activities that require youth to get up and be active.

•Continuing to offer hip-hop dance.

Results from the surveys taken one year after the completion of the P.H.A.T. campaign show that many of the youth maintained knowledge and positive attitudes, but the decreases in the percentage of youth drinking less soda and more water show that in order to maintain positive behaviors, healthy messages must be reinforced on a regular basis.

% That increased water consumption
% That decreased soda consumption
(70% by 8oz or more)
% That increased physical activity

% That reported you need to drink 8 glasses or more of water daily
% That reported you need 60 minutes of physical activity daily
% That knew a drink was not healthy if sugar was listed first on the ingredient list

% That agreed that what they drink can affect how they feel
%That agreed it is important for them to be physically active everyday

Program Results

67% programs reported that they still noticed changes (drinking more water, positive attitude towards physical activity and eating fruit, less fast food, more students buying water, and bringing fruit snack choices, topics of conversation, and activity patterns) in their youth one year after participating in P.H.A.T.

All the programs have continued to support hip-hop dance as a form of activity at their programs. When asked how each program has continued to support nutrition and physical activity, responses included:

• We do more programming around nutrition and have applied for a healthier snack program.

• We have conversations with our youth on a daily basis about the nutritional benefit of what they eat.

• I encourage students to bring healthy lunches by putting their names in a raffle contest.

• Nutrition is included in the gardening and cooking class. We continue to offer healthy snacks as a part of the USDA program.

PHAT Consultants and Hip-Hop Talent

Daniela Boykin, RD, California Adolescent Nutrition and Fitness Program (CANFit)
Daniela is both a Registered Dietitian and a DJ in San Francisco’s hip-hop club scene. She strives to combine her passion for hip-hop music with her desire to inspire positive eating and activity behaviors among young people. As CANFit Project Coordinator, she was responsible for creating and implementing the P.H.A.T. campaign and overseeing the production of the P.H.A.T. multi-media package.

Mark Di Vita, Children of Productions
Mark, a.k.a. hip-hop artist Spaztik Emcee, has found a way to unite his talents with his passions. From putting out records on his independent Children of Productions (COP) record label, producing, and DJing to mentoring, tutoring, and coaching, Mark stays in touch with the community. His second album, Spaztik Emcee For Those That Do, was released in May 2002. In addition to working with youth to prepare their raps, Mark produced the beats for the P.H.A.T. video and music CD.

Keenan Frost King, Radio Personality, Former 106.1 KMEL - FM DJ,
Keenan has been in the radio business for five years. He recently received his BA in Radio/Television Production from San Francisco State University. In addition to acting as the Master of Ceremonies for the P.H.A.T. showcase, Keenan worked with the youth to prepare for the video shoot and dances in the video.

Mike Shaw, Enough Said Productions
An experienced filmmaker, Mike has produced various pieces, from sports documentaries to hip-hop music videos. He has managed to maintain his ties to the community by taking on local projects like P.H.A.T. or directing commercials for the San Francisco Department of Public Works that used the talented cast members of “Stomp” to encourage San Franciscans to pick up trash. A former professional surfer, Mike incorporates an edgy style characterized by up-close angles, unusual perspectives, and panoramic shots that reflects his history in extreme sports. Mike Shaw was the cinematographer/editor for the P.H.A.T. video.

Kim Sims-Battiste, Culture Shock San Francisco
Kim Sims-Battiste is the director of Culture Shock Oakland, which supports three youth troupes in the San Francisco Bay Area. At this writing, their program incorporates more than 150 youth dancers and future leaders who promote creative expression through one of today’s most popular mediums: hip-hop, music, and dance. Kim worked with the youth to develop their hip-hop dance routines for the P.H.A.T. showcase is featured in the instructional hip-hop sequence.

P.H.A.T. Events

P.H.A.T. Health and Hip-Hop Showcase Saturday June 1, 2002
Over 250+ youth, parents, community members, youth serving organizations and community agencies attended the showcase at Club One Fitness at City Center, Oakland. Hosted by former 106.1 KMEL - FM DJ Keenan the event featured: hip-hop, break dance, congalese dance and kick boxing classes and activities for all ages, performances by Culture Shock and Future Shock dance troupes as well as youth participating in P.H.A.T., special appearances by the Golden State Warriors, information on nutrition, physical activity and summer youth programs, and live DJs.

P.H.A.T. Video Premiere & Wrap Party Saturday, June 14, 2003

Tips for Organizing a P.H.A.T. Campaign in Your Community

Organizing a campaign like P.H.A.T. will take time, money, and resources. However, if successful, it can lead to increased awareness and knowledge of important nutrition and fitness issues, and improved attitudes and behaviors amongst youth, youth providers, parents and community members. Here are some tips and examples from the P.H.A.T. campaign to get you started.

Be specific, keep it real, and stay focused

When determining what you want to focus on with your campaign, don’t try to include every single nutrition and physical activity issue that impacts young people. Remember less is truly more. Determine specific behaviors, attitudes, or knowledge you would like your participants to adopt and make sure that they are reinforced in all aspects of your campaign. Make sure that your messages are presented to youth in an appealing fashion and that you make connections that are relevant to them. Most importantly incorporating hip-hop culture should receive equal priority to your health messages.

Examples from P.H.A.T.

To make the title of our campaign appealing to youth, we used a term coined by the hip-hop community and turned it into an acronym - Promoting Healthy Activities Together. (“Phat” is commonly used as an adjective to describe something that is cool or hip.) P.H.A.T. was catchy and familiar to youth and healthy activities was clearly defined as increasing water consumption, decreasing consumption of fast foods and sodas, and increasing physical activity. Through scheduled activities, role-modeling, and informal conversations, we shared information with participants about the consequences of not drinking enough water, eating too much fast food and not exercising as well as the benefits of drinking water and being physically active.

To make things interesting we used visual aids such as a large 5 gallon water jug of sugar representing the amount of sugar you get from drinking one can of soda a day for a year and a large tub of yellow Crisco representing the amount of fat you get when you eat a BK whopper with cheese and a large fries once a week for a year. We completed an activity called Nutrition Matters where the youth had to match symptoms that occur when you don’t drink enough water, eat poorly, and don’t exercise. We made sure that the symptoms were all things that they currently may experience like, headaches, being tired, or being constipated so that they could relate poor eating and activity habits to how they feel. We hired credible hip-hop talent to make sure our campaign was authentic and we trained and encouraged them to convey messages such as drinking water is necessary to prevent dehydration when dancing or protecting your voice when rocking the mic.

Involve Youth in the Planning

Since hip-hop culture has historically been about representing the needs and values of young people, it is important that you seek input from your youth to keep things authentic. Youth should be involved in the decision making of everything from the title, to promotional materials, prizes and incentives, and even what activities you do. Remember your goal is to make things as appealing to them as possible. This is important for generating interest in your campaign and maintaining it.

Examples from P.H.A.T.

Youth buy-in was a huge priority during P.H.A.T. We asked our youth for input on the P.H.A.T. logo, the graphic design of flyers, the colors of promotional t-shirts and bags, ideas for prizes and incentives, the P.H.A.T. music CD, and even when they wanted to meet to work with hip-hop talent.

Hire Credible Creative Consultants

If you are not a rapper or a hip-hop dancer you need to get people involved who can “walk the walk,” and “talk the talk.” Collaborate with people from your community that are involved with hip-hop culture (choreographers, emcees, graphic artists), who have experience or an interest in working with young people, and a desire to help improve young people’s nutrition and fitness. Because they play a vital role in working with the youth and will be interacting with them regularly, it is important that you bring them up to speed on the nutrition and fitness issues your campaign is targeting so that they can consistently reinforce your messages.

Examples from P.H.A.T.

Fortunately, as a hip-hop DJ, the CANFit Project Coordinator was very familiar with the culture and had a network of contacts already established. CANFit hired a choreographer from a local dance troupe to coordinate the dancers who worked with participants, a local rapper to work with youth to develop raps and produce the P.H.A.T. music CD, and a graphic artists to develop our logo, t-shirts, promotional pieces and the design for the P.H.A.T. multi-media package.

Establishing your own network isnt hard to do, you just need to be a little resourceful and creative. Begin by putting your ear to the street. Talk to your youth to see if they know people in their neighborhood that rhyme, dance or even draw. Look out for events (open mics, hip-hop dance performances, concerts) happening in your area, preferably ones that are promoted by grass roots efforts and involve local talent. (Find out who designs their promotional pieces for potential graphic artists.) Contact the community centers or smaller venues in your area that hold and support hip-hop events. Do an internet search for local organizations that have hip-hop outreach projects such as DJ clubs or hip-hop dance classes. Contact college radio stations, record stores, record pools, dance companies and studios to find out about local talent. Hip-hop is everywhere, and you will be surprised when you start asking around at how many people are doing something to support its culture.

After talent was hired, CANFit made sure that they were clear on the nutrition and physical activity messages P.H.A.T. was trying to promote. They received specific examples of how they could reinforce those messages and be good role models. Many consultants commented on how they are much more conscious of their own eating and activity habits as a result of participating.

Maintain Variety, Structure and Accountability

It is important to offer opportunities that appeal to a variety of interests and skill levels. Make sure youth are aware of what they will be doing if they choose to participate, what is expected of them, and how long they will have to do it.

Examples from P.H.A.T.

We attempted to appeal to everyone by offering youth the opportunity to create a rap or dance or draw. With youth input, we determined specific times when they would meet to work on their projects and deadlines for when projects needed to be completed. We planned a P.H.A.T. Hip-Hop and Health Showcase where the youth presented their creations in front of an audience of their peers, family, and community members. Naturally all the youth wanted to make sure that their performances were on point because their peers and family were in the audience and they also had the opportunity to win a first place prize.

Dangle the Carrot

Let’s face it, young people need to know what’s in it for them before they commit to participate in something. And the idea that it is something that is good for your health just isn’t going to cut it. Incorporating elements of hip-hop culture that they enjoy and exposing them to positive role models is a good start but to really seal the deal you need incentives and prizes.

Examples from P.H.A.T.

We offered cool prizes - pens, water bottle lanyards, t-shirts, backpacks, music CDs, clothing, and gift certificates to a sporting goods store. We let the youth choose the colors for the t-shirts and backpacks and the style of backpack. Keep parents informed and involved parents can help reinforce your positives messages at home.

Examples from P.H.A.T.

We made sure that we kept parents in the loop during the entire campaign. Initially they had to give parental consent. We also invited them to the showcase, the video shoot and the wrap party/video premiere. The showcase was a great way to reach parents as they love to see their children perform. Parents that attended the showcase shared how glad they were that their child had the opportunity to participate and what a wonderful experience it was for them. They also shared how they had learned new information about nutrition and physical activity and how their kids now keep them in check about the food they serve.

Press Releases


2003 Dannon Institute Award for Excellence in Community Nutrition

The Awards For Excellence in Community Nutrition are an outgrowth of the Dannon Institute’s commitment to supporting research, education, and communication about the role nutrition plays in promoting good health. Their purpose is to recognize programs that have made an impact on nutrition behavior at the community level. For more info visit www.dannon-institute.org.














































































































Programs that Participated

American Indian Public Charter School (510) 482-6000 X 3637
Magee Ave.
Oakland, CA 94619

Bret Harte Community Academy
(510) 879-3639 X 3700
Coolidge Ave.
Oakland, CA 94602

Destiny Arts Center
(510) 655-7169
5688 San Pablo Ave.
Oakland, CA 94608

Girls, Inc.
(510) 232-5440
260 Broadway
Richmond, CA 94804

Longfellow Middle School Extended Day Program
(510) 833-5258
1500 Derby St.
Berkeley, CA 94703

Tenderloin After School Program
(415) 776-8407
225 Eddy St.
San Francisco, CA 94102