Why school meals matter

How you can help improve the nutritional environment of your local school

School meals matter. Children consume as much as one-half of their daily calories at school. As a result, the food kids eat at school can either be an opportunity to encourage healthy eating behaviors and curb America’s childhood obesity epidemic, or can be a contributor to poor health and increased chronic disease risk.

Increasing the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products as part of school meals can be an effective strategy to improve healthy eating behaviors among children.

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Often overlooked, adolescent nutrition plays key role in health

Nutrition is important at all stages of life, but during adolescence it plays a particularly important role.

Any parent who has had to buy their child three different sizes of pants over the course of one school year will know that adolescents grow more during this time period than at any other time except infancy. So it goes without saying that adolescents have increased nutritional needs.

About half of a healthy body mass is gained during adolescence.

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Why SNAP Matters

Proposed cuts would cause poor health outcomes in this generation and the next

The next few weeks will see plenty of news stories about the potentially devastating effects of President Trump’s proposed budget, especially the proposed 29 percent cut to SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or what used to be known as food stamps.

A program that’s been around since the 1960s, SNAP has been studied extensively and consistently been shown to be effective in lifting people out of poverty and reducing the number of people who are food insecure.

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Success story: one university’s attempt to improve the health culture on campus

George Fox University implements Nutrition Matters Program to weave nutrition importance throughout campus culture

When you think of food on college campuses what comes to mind? For most of us we probably picture dorms with cafeterias offering mystery meat burgers, pizza, corn dogs, fries and soda dispensers. But George Fox University decided it wanted to change all of that.

George Fox is located just outside of Portland in Oregon’s growing wine country. The campus has a 14:1 student to faculty ratio, helping the 4,000 plus students form a tight-knit community.

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The seeds of heart disease risk are planted before birth

Once rare, heart disease is now world's leading killer

Heart disease, rare only a century ago, is now the most common cause of death worldwide. Many explanations for this meteoric rise have been put forth, but most have fallen well short of explaining how this once rare chronic disease could kill the equivalent of the population of Portland, Oregon each year.

About 25 years ago an English epidemiologist named David Barker found that areas of England with high rates of infant deaths following WWII had high rates of adult death from heart disease 50 years later.

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Chronic diseases are not the inevitable lot of humankind. They are the result of the changing pattern of human development. We could readily prevent them, had we the will to do so.

David Barker, Ph.D., from Public Health, 2012