Currently browsing posts about: Nutrition-education

Jul 9 2013

New York City’s SNAP Education campaign: Cut the Junk

New York City’s Human Resources Administration (HRA), the agency that administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other food assistance and food emergency programs, just launched the second year of its “Cut the Junk” initiative.

The campaign features:

  • A booklet.   This explains healthy eating and gives cost comparisons.  It will be distributed at 35 farmers’ markets with SNAP programs
  • Tricycle-based billboard visits to low-income neighborhoods
  • A weekly texting service with tips and recipes (join by texting ‘NOJUNK’ to short code 877877)
  • A You Tube video

The Commissioner of HRA, Robert Doar, says:

good nutrition can both save lives and taxpayer dollars…Cut the Junk presents a common-sense approach to eating healthier with less expensive alternatives than take out and fast food.  Each tip in the booklet can help stretch a family’s food budget or food stamp benefits further. We are very proud to come directly to people’s neighborhoods to start talking about healthy food as an affordable reality for New Yorkers.

HRA did the campaign with Cornell Cooperative Extension.

I think the video works well.  The booklet?  Not so much.

I wish both said more about sodas.  “Grab an apple instead of a soda” doesn’t quite do it.

The video connects viewers with city food assistance resources, and that’s a plus.

Will this campaign encourage low-income residents to choose healthier diets?  I hope an evaluation is in progress.

What to say about the booklet?  Take a look and tell me what you think, please.

Dec 8 2010

What should doctors tell patients about nutrition?

The November issue of San Francisco Medicine is devoted to Food for Thought: Practical Nutrition for Physicians (the entire issue is online).

It’s got a great collection of short articles, if I may say so myself.  A throwback to the days when I taught nutrition at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, my contribution, the first one, is called “Doctor’s Orders: What Should Doctors Tell Patients About Nutrition?”

I am a realist. I am well aware of the fact of time constraints, and my list of suggestions for what doctors should tell patients about diet and health is necessarily short. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long to tell patients that what they eat matters to their health. It takes only a minute to explain that healthy eating simply means attending to food variety, minimal processing, and moderation.

This collection is worth a read.  For example:

  • David Wallinga: An Unhealthy Food System: Suggestions for Physician Advocacy
  • Brian Raymond: Taking Action: A Health Sector Guide to Food System and Agricultural Policy
  • Kelly Brownell: How the Food Industry Drives Us to Eat
  • Narsai David: Eating Sensibly: Using Common Sense and Moderation
  • Shannon Udovic-Constant, MD, and Steve Heilig: Health Policy Perspective: Sugar Politics Versus Health

Take a look and use!

Jul 26 2007

Does Nutrition Education Work?

For my thoughts on the recent Associated Press report (unpublished except in newspapers) suggesting that nutrition education doesn’t work to change people’s eating habits, see my interview at Eating Liberally.