Liana Haywood

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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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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What’s wrong with the American diet?

Too much and too little

What’s wrong with the average American diet? Too much and too little. We consume too much salt, fat, sugar and calories and too little nutrients from fresh whole fruits and vegetables.

Three-quarters of Americans don’t eat the recommend five to nine daily servings of fruits and vegetables. More than half exceed the recommendations for protein and grain consumption, but this is made up of red meat, high-fat dairy and refined carbohydrates,

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Nine ways to strengthen the connection between schools and nutrition

It’s that time of year. Kids across the country have headed back to school. They spend the greater part of their day at school and what they learn there can have a huge impact on how they think and feel about food. Creating a healthy environment at school can influence a child’s health, learning and long-term eating habits. Shouldn’t our schools be sending the right message about the importance of nutrition to our kids’ health?

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How birth weight predicts our risk for adult chronic disease

How we grow before we're born and in the first years of life matters

Did you know that your birth weight can predict whether you will develop heart disease, diabetes or certain other chronic diseases later in life? Wacky, but true.

Thanks to research into the Developmental Origins of Health & Disease (DOHaD) over the past 20 years, we know that babies born at the lower end of the normal birth weight range experience greater rates of chronic disease throughout life.

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How we grow before we’re born matters

The current generation of children is the third generation to eat processed foods and will be the first generation ever in the U.S. to live shorter lives than their parents. We now know that the nutrition we receive before we are born and in the first years of life affects our risk for developing chronic disease. Watch OHSU Moore Institute director Kent Thornburg at TEDxPortland explain more.

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We have to crawl before we can run

Our inspiration for the Better the Future blog

We here at Better the Future believe that reducing the prevalence of chronic disease throughout life starts by promoting healthy, nutrient-rich diets based on wholesome foods – before conception, during pregnancy and lactation, and in infancy and early childhood. Our beliefs are grounded in the science of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, or DOHaD.

DOHaD provides the scientific understanding for how the environment we are exposed to before birth and for the first 1,000 days following conception affects our risk for developing chronic diseases like obesity,

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How dad’s nutrition impacts children’s health

What males eat before becoming fathers affects their children's chronic disease risk

What a woman eats while she is pregnant has implications for her developing child. But what about the role of men? Does what a man eats have an impact on his future children? It may seem strange, but emerging research shows that the nutrition of fathers does have a role in their children’s risk for developing chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and obesity later in life.

Just as a woman’s diet has a role in affecting the health of her children and grandchildren,

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Breaking new ground in global health

What happens when nutrition scientists meet nutrition program leaders?

What happens when you get nutrition scientists and nutrition program practitioners from around the globe together? It turns out these two groups rarely interact, resulting in both having less than a full picture of the barriers each face in implementing their work.

The OHSU Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness recently hosted the International Summit on the Nutrition of Adolescent Girls and Young Women.

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“Instead of wagging fingers, we need to generate consensus. Empowering consumers to call for better access to better food will put pressure on politicians to respond to voters, and on the food industry to please their customers.”

David Barker, Ph.D. from Nature, 2013