Assessment of the State of Nutrition Education at the New York City and State Levels
Healthy Food, Healthy Lives
April 7, 2016
Nutrition education programs (NEPs) are school-based strategies designed to increase healthy food choices and improve nutrition-related behaviors. NEPs can include a range of activities, including physical activity programs, school gardens, local food sourcing for cafeterias, or a formal nutrition curriculum.
Much of the nutrition education in New York is implemented through NEPs, but very little research has been on how New York State or City governments currently support, implement, or coordinate nutrition education. To make appropriate decisions about nutrition education, stakeholders need accurate data on NEPs citywide and statewide. In 2016, NYSHealth awarded Teachers College Columbia University, for the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education and Policy (Tisch Food Center), a grant to assess the current state of nutrition education in New York City public schools and identify how the State supports nutrition education.
Under this grant, Tisch Food Center provided stakeholders with necessary data to maximize the impact of nutrition education in New York and supported efforts aimed at tackling obesity and hunger. Specifically, Tisch Food Center identified opportunities to improve coordination between government agencies, programs, and messages; leveraged limited resources; and identified gaps in nutrition education. For New York City, Tisch Food Center developed a report on the current landscape of NEPs in City public schools, along with a searchable database of NEPs in the schools. For the State, it conducted a statewide survey of nutrition policies, programs, and funding that benefit all New Yorkers and developed a report that identified gaps in nutrition education and its unequal distribution. Both reports will help advocates and others have a better understanding of the policy levers available to address nutrition education and where to best direct their efforts.
Read the State report, “Empowered Eaters: A Road Map for Stronger New York State Nutrition Education Policies and Programs.”
Read the City report, “Empowered Eaters: A Road Map for Stronger New York City Nutrition Education Policies and Programs.”