Three New Reports from the Tisch Food Center Reveal the State of Nutrition Education in New York, Including an In-depth Study of NYC Schools

Healthy Food Choices in Schools August 01, 2018 Print Friendly and PDF

 

EMPOWERED EATERS REPORTS:

Many school-based nutrition education programs receive government funding or support. To fully understand how nutrition education operates in schools, it is helpful to also understand the landscape of public policies and programs that enable schools to increase good quality nutrition education. Two new reports from the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy (Tisch Food Center) from the Program in Nutrition, Teachers College, Columbia University reveal the complex landscape of nutrition education policy at the federal, New York State, and New York City (NYC) levels.

These reports provide road maps to empower New York eaters throughout their lives, in all of the places where they live, work, learn, worship, and play. The reports also serve as a blueprint for others seeking to assess the nutrition education landscape in their areas or make recommendations nutrition education policies:

What makes these reports unique?

  • The first and only comprehensive analyses of federal, state, and city policies and programs that can support nutrition education; 
  • First-hand insight into publicly supported nutrition education from state and city players; and
  • Specific recommendations for policymakers to improve the nutrition education landscape.

What did we find?

  • Food and nutrition education is woven throughout many government initiatives, yet lacks coordination, particularly in schools. 
  • Educators and community members need a greater role in designing and implementing nutrition education policy. 
  • New York State and City nutrition education initiatives-including those that support school-based programming-are highly vulnerable to federal and state budget cuts.

 

A IS FOR APPLE REPORT:

Along with the Empowered Eaters reports, the Tisch Food Center conducted a deeper dive into the state of nutrition education programs in NYC schools in a third report, A is for Apple: The State of Nutrition Education Programs in New York City Schools‌. We studied 40 organizations that run 101 nutrition education programs in schools across New York City, and found that 44% of New York City schools lack external nutrition education programming.

School-based nutrition education is a key component of a whole child approach to education, supporting student health and academic achievement. Many New York City schools partner with external nutrition education programs. Through engaging activities, these programs provide students with motivation, skills, knowledge, and supportive environments to make food choices that promote health, ecological sustainability, and social justice. Nutrition education gives students confidence to navigate challenging food environments and resist persuasive marketing of unhealthy foods. Yet significant gaps exist in the distribution of nutrition education programs in New York City schools.

Our research revealed key opportunities to ensure ALL NYC students have access to great nutrition education, including:

Coordination: Create a network that coordinates nutrition education distribution, advocacy, evaluation, and resources.

Investment: Build program and school capacity through funding, technical assistance, tools, and training.

Collaboration: Amplify and align the unique roles of nutrition education programs, school community members, funders, advocates, and policy makers.

To learn more, delve into:


Contributors

Pam Koch, Executive Director, Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education, and Policy, Teachers College Columbia University, Program in Nutrition

Claire Uno, MLIS, Deputy Director, Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education, and Policy, Teachers College Columbia University, Program in Nutrition 


Sources

Held, Lisa. As Nutrition Education Faces Deep Federal Cuts, a New Report Maps Funding. January 16, 2018. Available at https://civileats.com/2018/01/16/as-nutrition-education-initiatives-face....

 

Koch PA, McCarthy JE, Uno C, Gray HL, Simatou G. A is for Apple: The State of Nutrition Education Programs in New York City Schools. Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, Program in Nutrition at Teachers College, Columbia University, March 2018. Available at: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/media/centers/tisch/NEP-Report-March-22-2018.pdf

 

Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education, & Policy. The State of Nutrition Education in NYS and NYC: Empowered Eaters Interviewees. January 15, 2018. Available at: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/tisch/news-and-events/news-archive/2017/empowered-eaters-interviewees/McCarthy JE, Uno C, Koch PA, Contento IR. Empowered Eaters: A Road Map for Stronger

Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education, & Policy. Four Empowered Eaters Recommendations for GREAT Nutrition Education in New York State and New York City. January 15, 2018. Available at: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/tisch/news-and-events/news-archive/2017/empowered-eaters-recommendations/

New York State Nutrition Education Policies and Programs. Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, Program in Nutrition at Teachers College, Columbia University. January 2018. Available at: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/media/media-library-2014/centers/tisch-center/Empowered-Eaters-STATE-FINAL.pdf

 

McCarthy JE, Uno C, Koch PA, Troutman CA, Contento IR. Empowered Eaters: A Road

Map for Stronger New York City Nutrition Education Policies and Programs. Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, Program in Nutrition at Teachers College, Columbia University. January 2018. Available at: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/media/media-library-2014/centers/tisch-center/Empowered-Eaters-CITY-FINAL.pdf


Nutrition Education Programs in NYC Schools Database. Available at: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/tisch/nepnyc/

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.