FEWER COURSES Federal and stage budget cuts could sharply affect schools' ability to offer nutrition education.

FEWER COURSES Federal and stage budget cuts could sharply affect schools' ability to offer nutrition education.

New research from Teachers College's Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy shows that nutrition education in New York State and New York City is extremely vulnerable to federal and state budget cuts.

Two reports from the Tisch Food Center, titled Empowered Eaters: A Road Map for Stronger New York State Nutrition Education Policies and Programs and Empowered Eaters: A Road Map for Stronger New York City Nutrition Education Policies and Programs, illustrate that food and nutrition education is woven throughout many government initiatives, yet lacks coordination; and that educators and community members need a greater role in designing and implementing nutrition education policy. Together, according to the Center, they “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 constitute “the first and only comprehensive analyses of federal, state, and city policies and programs that can support nutrition education.” They include specific recommendations for policymakers to improve the nutrition education landscape.

A story on the new research on the Civil Eats website reports that the new tax law recently enacted by Congress will likely result in cuts in public health spending that will include $61 million from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and $900 million designated for health education in the Affordable Care Act, with additional major reductions in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which includes an education program to promote healthy eating and prevent obesity.

“We hope that it will be used as reference guide for public officials, elected officials, and agency folks to be able to understand this universe and then start to shift policies and funding,” said Claire Uno, Tisch Food Center Assistant Director, of the Empowered Eaters research.

The research team that put together the reports consists of Uno; Julia McCarthy, Tisch Food Center Policy Analyst; Tisch Food Center Executive Director Pamela Koch, Research Associate Professor in Nutrition Education, Alison Hard (M.A. '17), Senior Associate, Federal Government Affairs, National WIC Association; and Isobel Contento, Mary Swartz Rose Professor of Nutrition Education, Director of TC's Program in Nutrition and Tisch Food Center Faculty Director.