• Research

  • Healthy Living Research

    4-H Healthy Living initiatives are proven to influence youth to engage in positive healthy living behaviors.

    Teens Take on Health

    Sponsored by National 4-H Council and Molina Healthcare, Teens Take on Health is a first-of-its-kind, teen-led research effort that is focused on talking with young people instead of talking at them.

    What teens told us:
    • America’s youth see health as holistic—mind, body and soul
    • Obesity is top of mind for American youth
    • Teens are paying attention to health care access issues
    • They aren't getting enough sleep, need help with stress and are concerned about mental health needs in their communities
    Learn more about the groundbreaking research:

    Teens Take On Health Infographic

    4-H Study of Positive Youth Development

    According to the decade-long study, 4-H'ers are two times more likely to make healthier choices. To learn more, download The Positive Development of Youth: Comprehensive Findings from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development (full report) or view the Factsheet.

    PYD Report Cover

    4-H Healthy Living

    Evidence-based and peer-reviewed 4-H Healthy Living Programs have been highlighted by the USDA Programs of Distinction. Healthy Living liaisons from the nation’s 109 land-grant universities and colleges work to enable successful healthy living programming.

    Dr. Laura Downey and Dr. Donna Peterson from Mississippi State University conducted an environmental scan of 4-H Healthy Living Programs in healthy eating, physical activity and alcohol-drug-tobacco intervention in 2013, identifying 78 programs. Of these, 20 were identified as having strong evidence for national replication. Full report

    In 2013-14, Dr. Joseph Donaldson and colleagues assessed professional and volunteer development needs in healthy living. A preliminary report was issued in fall, 2013, followed by a deeper dive in spring 2014.