The smell of baking bread is irresistible as head chef Kris Walker shows a group of visitors the trailer he and his team have been working out of for the past year. The tiny trailer is steamy from hours of food preparation, and cramped with only five people in it. Yet somehow this is where Walker and his team have been able to prepare three healthy meals a day from scratch for more than 300 kids for the past year.
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.
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.
January is a time to think about positive changes, and often our resolutions have to do with health and healthy eating. As you work toward meeting your resolutions this year, take heart and get some added motivation by knowing that your food choices today may eradicate chronic diseases by the end of the century. Incredible, right? But true.
A growing body of research has given us new insight into the origins of chronic disease and indicates that susceptibility to diseases like obesity,
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,
What was the impetus behind starting a farmers market at OHSU?
My director and I were at the very first Food-Med conference. We heard a presentation about the process of starting farmers markets at Kaiser Permanente facilities in California. A lightbulb went off in both of our brains simultaneously. OHSU is located on a hill with little access to fresh fruits and veggies, and at the time had no place for the community to gather.
Have you ever stopped to really think about what you eat? And why you eat it? Have you ever considered where your food comes from, how it was produced? Or really thought about how what you eat affects your health, or the health of your future children and grandchildren? The answer is probably no. It’s not something we’ve been encouraged to do. Our lack of attention to our food has an enormous influence on the health of the American public.
“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