March 1, 2007
Contact: Kaylyn Kendall Dines
100 Teenage Girls Shop To Seek Proper
Nutrition and Maintain Healthy Hearts
- Field Trip Held In Recognition of March as National Nutrition Month -
MERCER COUNTY — Two supermarkets in Mercer County will serve as a classroom for 100 high school students who are taking a field trip to learn proper eating habits. The Healthy Heart Supermarket Tour will take place on Tuesday, March 13, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at the Acme, Route One and Texas Avenue in Lawrenceville, and at Marrazzo Supermarket, 1400 Parkway Avenue in Ewing.
The tours, for tenth grade girls from Central Trenton High School, are sponsored by the Dietetic Internship Program at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Scotch Plains and the Women’s Heart Foundation’s Teen Esteem Health and Fitness Program. An alternative to gym class, the program is designed to teach girls who live in urban areas nutrition and fitness principles that will help prevent heart disease.
“We hope the lessons our registered dietitians and students share will prompt the teenage girls to choose items that are from food groups promoted through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines,” said Geraldine McKay, clinical coordinator of the Dietetic Internship Program at the UMDNJ-School of Health Related Professions. “Since poor nutrition and eating practices contribute to the development of chronic diseases, our dietitians will give the high school students practical recipes, shopping tips, and suggestions for a healthy lifestyle.”
“Getting Back to Basics, Being Fad Free” is the 2007 National Nutrition Month theme of the American Dietetic Association.”
A tour of 50 students will be held at each store simultaneously. Groups of the 10 students will rotate through five stations where they will sample healthy snacks. Faculty and students at each station will facilitate discussions on the following topics: Choosing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables; Getting Your Dairy the Low-Fat Way; Be Lean with Your Protein when Choosing Meat, Fish and Poultry; Make Half Your Grains Whole Grains; and Choose Snacks Wisely.
“We encourage smart decision-making in all areas of personal health,” said Bonnie Arkus, director of the Women’s Heart Foundation. “Each step the teenagers take now towards forming healthy nutrition habits may help prevent heart disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability among American women. Risk factors for heart disease such as obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and poor nutrition frequently begin during childhood and adolescence. In the United States, 37 percent of youth are categorized as overweight or obese. Childhood obesity contributes to adult obesity, which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases.”
Reporters who would like to join the teenagers during the tour, should call Kaylyn Dines at 973-972-7276 for more information.
UMDNJ is the nation ’s largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and a school of public health on five campuses. Annually, there are more than two million patient visits at UMDNJ facilities and faculty practices at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a statewide mental health and addiction services network.