Photo Caption: Many children make unhealthy choices simply because they are not aware of what the good choices are and why they need to make them. The goal of the project was to measure what the students knew about nutrition, present information about nutrition, and to excite them about being healthy.
(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Jan. 30, 2013) - - - Many argue today that children and young adults are oblivious to a proper and healthy relationship with food. This is just what students in Columbia State Community College’s Phi Theta Kappa organization were seeking to understand. In November and December of 2012, the PTK students prepared a presentation on health and nutrition that would be presented to students from five schools in the Columbia area, which was done in conjunction with the YMCA Fun Company.
The PTK team did extensive research on the topic of children and nutrition. They were inspired by statistics, including one from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that states approximately 17 percent, or 12.5 million, of children and adolescents obese.
The PTK students developed an entry survey that was reviewed by a registered dietitian. The final element of the contest was a poster contest in which the students were asked to finish the phrase “Healthy eating makes me a better…,” and three student entries were selected as winners.
The survey found that out of more than two dozen children surveyed, less than 8 percent were able to correctly identify twenty common fruits and vegetables. Yet, only two of the students surveyed identified their current diet as “unhealthy.” Further, students who said they had been exposed to healthy habits at home or in school responded correctly to a majority of the questions.
The PTK team concluded that exposure to healthy eating habits early is the first step to laying the foundations for a lifetime of healthy habits. The results of the project, while not necessarily surprising, did solidify the argument for integrating information about nutrition into the classroom early on in a child’s education.
Phi Theta Kappa is the national honor society for two-year colleges, which recognizes and encourages scholarship academic achievement among its members. PTK also provides opportunities for individual growth and development through participation in honors, leadership, service and fellowship activities.
Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation. For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.