Issues

Listen to These Obesity Rap Songs That Cost You $88,529

Songs use auto-tune, encourage healthy eating habits

AP
AP

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) paid $88,529 to make a hip-hop cd about obesity.

A research project to look into whether music can be used for obesity prevention resulted in rap songs about drinking less soda and the horrors of eating junk food.

"Positive Records," a music-based messaging company, received the USDA grant to develop the album and then play it for elementary students in California.

The grant said that the agency wanted to "take advantage" of the popularity of rap music among young African-Americans to transmit messages about healthy eating.

"The target audience for the Music CD would be African American youths ages 8 to 12," the USDA said. "Although music is a widely consumed communications channel among youth, it is under-utilized in health communications."

The USDA said songs about health are "classic by definition." Positive Records features their songs on obesity prevention on their website.

Among them include "Fuel Up to Play 60," a rap song about getting 60 minutes of exercise a day, "Small Steps," and "Let’s Move," a nod to Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign.

Let’s Move begins with this refrain:

How did we get here; Was it super size burgers and fries; Or giant sodas; With the value meals at dinner time; Busy parents; Cafeterias at schools; Hear the wake up call; It’s our moment of truth; Let’s move

In "Rethink Your Drink" a rapper scolds his "homie from around the way" that drinking too large of sodas is making him fat.

Positive Records called the project the "Groovy Pyramid," and said kids responded well to their songs.

The company also created a song to encourage enrollment into Obamacare for Covered California.

You can listen to many more songs from the "Groovy Pyramid" album here: