Kidz Bite Back is operated by dewey & associates, a Tampa Bay, Florida-based firm that specializes in obesity prevention, juvenile justice reform and education reform. dewey & associates president Dewey Caruthers has worked on some of the nation’s most successful campaigns to reduce teen smoking rates and prevent obesity (read more on the About the Founder page).
Caruthers crafted Kidz Bite Back by taking some of the best practices from highly successful teen tobacco prevention campaigns he has worked on, such as the national ‘truth’ campaign, and applying them in an age-appropriate manner to obesity prevention for 4th and 5th graders and their families.
Best practices from teen tobacco prevention are included in the Kidz Bite Back design:
- Hard-hitting counter-marketing, which exposes the exaggerations, half-truths and sometimes outright lies made by these industries that target children.
- Youth-led grassroots movements, which encourages youth to spread the word to their families, friends – even elected officials.
- Youth-in-charge, which involves youth leading the campaign with adults in the background as facilitators of success.
- Strong youth brands that can successfully compete against industry brands, such as Kidz Bite Back effectively competing against McDonald’s.
- Peer-to-peer (youth-to-youth) communication – if adult-to-youth communication was an effective model the U.S. would not have an obesity epidemic, because adults have been lecturing to kids (usually while wagging an index finger) for three decades to eat better and exercise more.
In designing Kidz Bite Back, Caruthers conducted extensive research with 4th and 5th graders on everything from messaging to graphic design to ensure the messages are effective and compelling and the graphics visually appealing for youth. He continues to integrate youth input into all aspects of Kidz Bite Back.
As part of the process, Kidz Bite Back has collaborated with children’s hospitals, health departments, school districts, health foundations and the University of South Florida, College of Public Health. Kidz Bite Back is regularly evaluated by these partners. See the evaluations on the Parentz page.