An estimated one third of all children in the United States are overweight or obese. While the obesity rate is possibly stabilizing, it is still alarmingly high, with more than 17 percent of children considered clinically obese.
One way to help combat this issue is through nutrition education. Unfortunately, many individuals and families do not receive formal or informal nutritional guidance.
“We know that healthy, balanced meals and snacks are the key to weight control. Making healthy choices can seem overwhelming or even confusing for many families on the go but with the right advice, it can be made simpler. Small modifications at each meal can come together to make a big difference and that is something that we hope to teach,” said Dr. Tania Rivera, assistant clinical professor in the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition and advisor to the Student Dietetic Association (SDA).
To help raise nutrition awareness, more than forty dietetics and nutrition students partnered with Common Threads, a national non-profit. Trained as Common Threads “Healthy Teachers,” the dietetic and nutrition students taught kids in summer camps about making healthier food choices through fun, hands-on lessons that include simple, child-friendly cooking lessons and tips.
“This is the second year that the SDA has partnered with Common Threads on this project. This year the program just about doubled from the first year and we were able to teach more than a thousand students some of the basics of nutrition,” said Alexander Gonzalez, former SDA president and coordinator for the project. “Our hope is that teaching children how to snack better and eat better will have a lifelong impact on their health.”Friday Letter Submission, Publish on October 11