The ATHENA (Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise & Nutrition Alternatives)
Initiative Description: The ATHENA (Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise & Nutrition Alternatives) program is a sport team-based harm reduction and health promotion program. The curriculum was delivered during eight 45-minute team meetings, scheduled at the coach’s discretion and integrated into a team’s usual practice activities. The curriculum addressed depression prevention, self-esteem, healthy norms and societal pressures to be thin. Media influences were countered by directing student-athletes to discuss, deconstruct, and remake magazine advertisements for cigarettes, alcohol, and nutritional supplements. Participants established shared healthy behavioral expectations, practiced refusal skills, and created and presented to teammates public service campaigns
Study Results: Intervention students reported significantly less lifetime use of cigarettes, cannabis, and alcohol.
Reference: Elliot, D. L., Goldberg, L., Moe, E. L., DeFrancesco, C. A., Durham, M. B., McGinnis, W., & Lockwood, C. (2008). Long-term outcomes of the ATHENA (Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise & Nutrition Alternatives) Program for female high school athletes. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 52(2), 73–92.
Level of Evidence: Excellent