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ESSENDON

Health messages delivered with dose of hip hop

STREET art and hip hop have been tagged as ways of teaching high school students about health and nutrition.

A Melbourne University initiative to bring university and high school students together and lift awareness of health in schools in the western suburbs was launched at Essendon Keilor College on Thursday.

The Community Health Advancement and Student Engagement (CHASE) project is run by volunteer university students and young professionals from fields such as medicine, engineering, law and business.

Teagan Fink, who ran a program at Essendon Keilor College, said they tried to connect with students through art and music.

“We want to raise discussion about nutrition but we want to make it creative,” she said.

Ms Fink said the program combined discussions about why it’s hard to eat healthy and lead active lifestyles, with workshops on nutrition, physical activity, sexual health and mental health.

She said statistics showed there were higher rates of chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, in the western suburbs com- pared to other parts of Melbourne.

“A lot of these can either be prevented or improved by active lifestyles that are eat- ing choices,” she said.

“We wanted to think about how we can make a differ- ence before people get sick.”

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