Teens are bombarded with unhealthy food options every day in vending machines, lunch-lines, and after-school activities. Sometimes even at home, the healthiest options are hard to find or are too expensive to purchase. As a result, adolescent obesity has risen dramatically among our nation's youth. In a study conducted by the Institute of Medicine, adolescent obesity has doubled in the past three decades for child between the ages of 12 and 19.
In response, we at Ann Arbor's teen center, Neutral Zone, have developed a program to combat the trend toward unhealthy choices. We have formed a team of adult mentors from the Ann Arbor community to work one-on-one with teens to create healthy menus for our weekly Wednesday Neutral Zone-sponsored dinners. Both the teens and adults will work together to craft menus, prepare meals, and serve nutritious options once a month to the greater Ann Arbor youth community.