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Hip Hop Public Health offer alternative approach at PBH

SCOTTSDALE, AZ – Many public health strategies are outdated and far behind less healthy alternatives when it comes to healthy food, says an expert with a fresh idea.

(from left) Columbia University neurologist Olajide Williams and founder of Hip Hop Public Health, addressed PBH attendees on new motivational ideas; with Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, CEO of PBH; and HHPH executive director and CEO Lori Rose Benson.

Columbia University neurologist Olajide Williams told attendees of the Produce For Better Health Foundation’s annual conference April 26, that his way of getting a healthier message to stick is through sight and sound.

“Just giving people information is not sufficient,” he said. “Just giving people access is not sufficient.”

Hip Hop Public Health, founded in New York by Williams, targets urban consumers with the help of musical artists such as Doug E Fresh, Chuck D and Ashanti.

“Music is powerful,” Williams said. “This is why we have partnerships with music stars who donate their time with us.”

He said this method gets at people’s resistance to change their eating behavior by changing both the message and the messenger, which he admits is more powerful coming from someone like Chuck D than a Columbia brain doctor.

For instance, kids have had a positive reaction to an animated music video featuring hip hop stars talking about healthier eating.

PBH CEO Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak said PBH is proud to work with partners like this who understand communities that PBH traditionally doesn’t reach.


Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services