The Shaping Healthy Choices Program was recently spotlighted on the Sacramento KOVR13 News program. The news story, titled "UC Davis Researchers Help Students Eat Healthier, Make Better Decisions" highlighted the recent success of the program in several participating schools. SHCP researcher Dr. Rachel Scherr was interviewed along with students in a participating school.
UC Cooperative Extension specialists in nutrition and youth scientific literacy worked with graduate and undergraduate students, and the director of the School Gardening Program to develop a garden-based nutrition curriculum for the school-based Shaping Healthy Choices Program (SHCP). The Discovering Healthy Choices curriculum utilizes inquiry-based approaches and experiential learning. The lessons help youth understand nutrition concepts (e.g., how nutrients support and maintain health) and learn to make evidence-based food choices (e.g., comparing food labels). The program includes hands-on garden-based activities and addresses California Common Core State Standards in math and language arts. Students who participated in Discovering Healthy Choices activities as part of the SHCP demonstrated a measurable increase in nutrition knowledge. The curriculum is currently under review by the California Department of Education, Healthy Kids Resource Center and will be made available to elementary schools, the UC CalFresh Program, and the California 4-H Youth Development Program.
The percentage of overweight or obese children in test schools dropped from 56 percent to 38 percent over the course of a single school year, thanks to a new nutrition program developed and tested in the classroom by nutrition researchers at the University of California, Davis. “The education component of this program is intended to help children develop nutrition-related problem solving skills,” said co-author Jessica Linnell, a senior doctoral candidate in the UC Davis Department of Nutrition. “We think that these skills, combined with knowledge about foods, may be critical in order for children to make healthy choices.” Researchers say the Shaping Healthy Choices Program could be adopted nationally at little cost to schools. The program was pilot-tested for this study in schools located in Sacramento and Stanislaus counties.
CNS researcher Dr. Rachel Scherr recently reported on preliminary results of the Shaping Healthy Choices Program at the 2014 Experimental Biology Meeting in San Diego, California. Dr. Scherr notes that results show that the program has a real impact on students’ health. “When we designed the study, we anticipated short-term outcomes like kids having more knowledge of nutrition or being able to identify more vegetables. We always had a long-term goal of decreasing BMI, but we didn’t anticipate that it would happen in such a short timeframe. We are thrilled,” said Scherr.
The Shaping Healthy Choices Program (SHCP) is a multi-component, school-based intervention, which was recently spotlighted in the University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources (ANR) UC Delivers campaign. UC Delivers is a collection of examples showing how ANR is making a difference for Californians.
The Shaping Healthy Choices Program was recently spotlighted in the University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources (ANR) UC Delivers campaign. UC Delivers is a collection of examples showing how ANR is making a difference for Californians. The UC Delivers article spotlights how preliminary analyses show that children classified as overweight or obese dropped from 56 percent to 38 percent during the one year SHCP was implemented in Sacramento County.