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Promoting Good Health through Art

Students from two Los Angeles area high schools hope to motivate others to eat healthy and get more physically active through creative expression.

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Students from two Los Angeles area high schools hope to motivate others to eat healthy and get more physically active through creative expression, thanks to the Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health and Kaiser Permanente’s Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) initiative. Funded by Kaiser Permanente, HEAL is an initiative whose goal is to reduce obesity rates and increase health awareness in the community.

Students at Washington Preparatory High School in Southeast Los Angeles designed and painted a vibrant mural depicting colorful fruits and veggies on their campus, hoping to inspire other students to make wise health decisions. A similar HEAL-themed mural was developed by students at Hollywood High School, and the entire process was captured in a video by a public health student intern at the L.A. Trust.

Scroll down to read about the great work these amazing students are doing to make good health a reality in their schools.  

Washington Preparatory High School

Earlier this summer at Washington Preparatory High School in Los Angeles, a group of students brightened up a corner of campus with a vibrant mural. In support of the L.A. Trust for Children’s Health HEAL campaign, they painted a healthy picture of healthy fruits and vegetables along with a message that reads, “I ‘heart’ healthy food,” to remind everyone to eat well.

One of the student participants drew on her artistic talents to outline the design, inspired by HEAL’s mission to promote healthy, life-long healthy eating habits and physical activity. The mural’s location next to the school garden and in front of the increasingly-used bike rack helped to reinforce the message of healthy eating, active living.

Once the design was laid out, the group went to work with aptly named paint colors such as “Tomato” and “Watermelon Slice.” The mural was completed over the course of two afternoons, and students stayed fueled by vegetables and dip, and hydrated with water.

Hollywood High School

“Health is a relationship between you and your body,” reads a quote that is prominently visible on the new mural at Hollywood High School’s campus. The mural consists of a number of puzzle pieces that student designer Adinai Seiitbek Kyzy hopes will help students to achieve their health and wellness goals.

“As a public health student, I’ve learned that behavior change takes time. It takes small steps, it takes a supportive community, and most importantly, it takes motivation,” says Nina Nguyen, public health intern, L.A. Trust for Children’s Health. “I think this mural definitely illustrates that.”

The L.A. Trust for Children’s Health has been partnering with Hollywood High School through the HEAL program for several years. Click here to view the video: https://vimeo.com/179392989

About HEAL
Kaiser Permanente’s Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) program is designed to help combat obesity in underserved communities. HEAL supports efforts that focus on long-term sustainable strategies while responding to community needs.

Launched in 2004 as a Kaiser Permanente community health initiative, the vision of HEAL is for people to eat better and move more as part of daily life. To make this vision a reality, HEAL brings together a robust coalition of partners, including local public agencies, schools, community-based organizations, employers, local businesses, faith-based organizations, and health care providers. These coalitions engage local residents to advocate for policy and environmental changes needed to remove the barriers to healthy eating and active living in their community.

To learn more, please visit http://community.kp.org/be-informed/program/heal-zones.