Rutgers Students Fight Obesity: Projects from Our Class: Obesity: Biology, Behavior, and Management, April 26, 2014
During this spring semester (2014) the students from the class worked on group projects that were for the purpose of designing a program that would fight obesity in the US. The Projects were presented in class and each one contained fantastic ideas and realistic strategies that would certainly be helpful in the fight against obesity in our country.
Since the class was primarily made up of senior undergraduate students, majoring in Nutritional Sciences (including students in the dietetics program) or Exercise Science, there was ample expertise on nutrition and exercise in each group. In fact, I can honestly say that this group of students was one of the most knowledgeable and passionate about nutrition and health that I have ever encountered. Additionally, on the whole, they were fantastically gifted writers (See their comments for the Posts below) and it was a joy to grade their assignments week after week.
Two of the main take home points from this semester course were:
First, as Dr. Charlotte Markey reviewed in her amazing lecture, the stigma that obese persons (now 1/3 of all of us) feel and the harsh treatment and discrimination that so many are subjected to causes additional problems that make it difficult for them to lead happy, healthy and successful lives
Second, the occupation of dietitian will become one of the most important in the years ahead. Just look at the figures, 1/3 of Americans are obese, and 70% of physicians (most likely many more) say they do not have the training to help obese patients! What resonates right now is that our society needs well trained dieticians probably more than any other health professional. How many people are not engaging in the regular health care system because they have been stigmatized to the point of giving up? The data on this issue are shocking.
Below are the research projects that were developed during this semester. If you wish additional information about any of these, please contact me.