Health Promotion/Health Affairs/Public Policy 2022

Health Promotion/Health Affairs/Public Policy 2022


Hip-Hop Public Health (HHPH) and Area 23
Lil Sugar – Master of Disguise

The overconsumption of sugar is a national problem. And due to decades of systemic racial inequality, black communities are the hardest hit, especially children. Food deserts, created by the discriminatory practice of redlining, compound the problem. Along with a lack of access to healthy food and nutritional knowledge, obesity, diabetes and increased mortality are persistent injustices.

Sinister sugar is hard to fight because companies use over 150 different names for it. Hip-Hop Public Health’s powerful campaign makes unmasking this devious master of disguise fun, engaging and entertaining.

A high-energy music video is the main driver of the effort, featuring the legendary Run DMC as the voice of the animated villain, exposing how the companies try to trick children (and their parents) on product labeling.

The video features a cross-channel campaign that’s an epic blend of science and pop culture. Medical researchers have spent months compiling hundreds of forms of sugar used by the food industry, ranking them and compiling data on each, ranking them from most toxic to least harmful. The results of this scientific research were applied to all aspects of the campaign. Most importantly, it became the backbone of the app’s Sugar Card stats, which define which Sugar won or lost during Sugar Battles.

Cultural research was also applied to the campaign from start to finish. With music, games and stories, the book, music video and app – all created for free – this grassroots movement has already delivered valuable nutrition education to millions of school children.


Kindness Against Muscular Dystrophy and Eversana Intouch
Fierce against muscular dystrophy

Duchenne muscular dystrophy affects one in 5,000 newborns, mostly boys. It is incurable and fatal, taking away the ability to walk, breathe and even smile. Research funding is low. This non-profit organization, created by the parents of Conner Curran, diagnosed at age 4, harnesses the powerful beast within children like him, determined to defy the disease. Annual fundraising increased by 27%.

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