Teachers College Calls Attention to Nutrition Education
This year’s Dewey Circle Reception — a ceremony honoring donors to Teachers College, Columbia University — shined a spotlight on healthy eating and the value of nutrition awareness.
“Teachers College invented nutrition education a century ago,” said Susan Fuhrman, president of Teachers College. “In the 1970s and ’80s, long before the current food movement came to global consciousness, TC faculty members were sounding the cry for a sustainable food system that supported human health and local environments.”
Childhood obesity (a body mass index above the 95th percentile) has more than tripled in the past 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 increased from 6.5 percent in 1980 to 19.6 percent in 2008. The prevalence of obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 increased from 5 percent to 18.1 percent.
Surrounded by edible displays of carrots, celery, peppers and other vegetables, guests at the Dewey Circle Reception mingled on the rooftop garden of Tishman Speyer headquarters at Rockefeller Plaza. The event was hosted by Tishman Speyer Senior Managing Director, Steven Wechsler.
Guest speakers and Teachers College graduates Dr. Isobel Contento and Dr. Pamela Koch spoke about their efforts to encourage healthy eating during the evening’s program, “Eating Well: From Personal Health to Global Sustainability.”
Koch and Contento recently received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop a science education and nutrition curriculum and evaluate its effectiveness in preventing obesity in about 2,000 fifth-graders at 20 New York City public schools. #