In an effort to improve guidance on the nutritional quality of foods served to children at day care centers, after-school programs and summer camps, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention awarded a one-year grant to a team of New York University researchers led by Beth Dixon, New York University assistant professor and director of Public Health Nutrition in the Steinhardt School of Education’s Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health.

Dixon and over a dozen researchers, including students and faculty from Steinhardt’s Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, will collaborate to assess food options at New York City day-care centers, after-school programs, and summer camps. The team will find out who the major food vendors are, how foods are being prepared, and which ones could be replaced with more healthful choices.

With concerns about obesity on the rise, health departments are now actively seeking to intervene and improve children’s diets both at home and in the institutions that care for children. “We’ve been hired for our expertise in nutrition and food policy to assist the city with evaluating the ‘food landscape’ of city programs where children eat,” says Dixon. “We’re aiming to improve food policy and the nutritional quality of diets for all of New York City’s children.”

Faculty from Steinhardt’s Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health involved in the grant include: Marcia Thomas, Jennifer Berg, Marion Nestle, Judith Gilbride, Sharron Dalton, Amy Bentley, Kristie Lancaster, James Macinko, Domingo Pinero, and Lisa Sasson. Renata Schiavo and Ellie Krieger, adjunct faculty who have experience developing health communication and nutrition education materials, will also participate, along with doctoral students Temitope Erinosho and Christine Johnson.

Editor’s note:
NYU’s Steinhardt School is a rich source of ground-breaking scholarship on issues of national and global significance and innovation in research, teaching, practice, and performance. The School prepares students to be educators, health professionals, counselors, and psychologists, academics, musicians, artists, communication specialists, and policy analysts. The Steinhardt School values its location in New York City, where it is engaged in research, partnerships, and community service aimed at improving urban life and the city’s institutions.

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