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Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy

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The State of Nutrition Education in NYS and NYC

How can we ensure that all New Yorkers have the opportunity to become empowered eaters?

The Tisch Food Center recently delved into that question with two groundbreaking reports:

We conducted 102 interviews with 142 nutrition education stakeholders from across New York State and New York City. These individuals represented seven state agencies, 15 city agencies, 11 local providers and 27 other institutions. Here is a glimpse at what they had to say:

 

--MOTIVATION--

“Nutrition education has been part of what [our organization] has been trying to do for a long time in order to address the health disparities around obesity and diabetes. We think it’s important that children learn from a young age about healthy eating, and obviously at the same time, we’re working to also improve the food environment around them.”

Interviewees shared with us the reasons they include nutrition education in the initiatives they administer, implement, or support. These reasons include: the prevalence of diet-related diseases; the need to eliminate health disparities; the need to reduce health care spending through preventive care; the opportunity to empower communities; and the benefit of meeting multiple goals at once.

 

--FUNDING--

“The limiting factor of our ability to pursue our mission, one component of which is nutrition and nutrition education, is funding. People are excited, there’s a demand for it in the city, we see it every day. The schools are signing up as you see left and right, people are trying to start community gardens left and right, but we can only provide as much support as we have funding for.”

Interviewees discussed how funding levels, grant periods, and other federal, state, and city requirements make administering and implementing nutrition education challenging. Specifically, they addressed inadequate funding; short federal grant periods; overly-prescriptive requirements; complexity of funding streams; and waning support at the federal and state levels.

 

--POLITICS--

“I know that there’s ways to get more funding from City Council, but honestly I haven’t fiigured out the right mechanism for it. A lot of it seems like it’s probably more trouble.”

Interviewees reported that they find navigating the political processes that influence publicly supported nutrition education challenging, yet nutrition education initiatives are vulnerable to shifting political priorities, and corporate lobbying.

 

--COORDINATION--

“A lot of the struggles that we come across in the school wellness work are differences between the New York State Department of Health and Department of Education. I think that if they were more aligned, then things could be more aligned at the city level.”

Interviewees discussed how federal, state, and city agencies, as well as local providers, could improve collaboration and coordination for nutrition education initiatives. They discussed how coordination could amplify nutrition education and build supportive relationships.

Click HERE to read more about what interviewees shared.

Published Monday, Jan. 15, 2018

The State of Nutrition Education in NYS and NYC

The Tisch Food Center recently delved into that question with two groundbreaking reports:

We conducted 102 interviews with 142 nutrition education stakeholders from across New York State and New York City. These individuals represented seven state agencies, 15 city agencies, 11 local providers and 27 other institutions. Here is a glimpse at what they had to say:

 

--MOTIVATION--

“Nutrition education has been part of what [our organization] has been trying to do for a long time in order to address the health disparities around obesity and diabetes. We think it’s important that children learn from a young age about healthy eating, and obviously at the same time, we’re working to also improve the food environment around them.”

Interviewees shared with us the reasons they include nutrition education in the initiatives they administer, implement, or support. These reasons include: the prevalence of diet-related diseases; the need to eliminate health disparities; the need to reduce health care spending through preventive care; the opportunity to empower communities; and the benefit of meeting multiple goals at once.

 

--FUNDING--

“The limiting factor of our ability to pursue our mission, one component of which is nutrition and nutrition education, is funding. People are excited, there’s a demand for it in the city, we see it every day. The schools are signing up as you see left and right, people are trying to start community gardens left and right, but we can only provide as much support as we have funding for.”

Interviewees discussed how funding levels, grant periods, and other federal, state, and city requirements make administering and implementing nutrition education challenging. Specifically, they addressed inadequate funding; short federal grant periods; overly-prescriptive requirements; complexity of funding streams; and waning support at the federal and state levels.

 

--POLITICS--

“I know that there’s ways to get more funding from City Council, but honestly I haven’t fiigured out the right mechanism for it. A lot of it seems like it’s probably more trouble.”

Interviewees reported that they find navigating the political processes that influence publicly supported nutrition education challenging, yet nutrition education initiatives are vulnerable to shifting political priorities, and corporate lobbying.

 

--COORDINATION--

“A lot of the struggles that we come across in the school wellness work are differences between the New York State Department of Health and Department of Education. I think that if they were more aligned, then things could be more aligned at the city level.”

Interviewees discussed how federal, state, and city agencies, as well as local providers, could improve collaboration and coordination for nutrition education initiatives. They discussed how coordination could amplify nutrition education and build supportive relationships.

Click HERE to read more about what interviewees shared.

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