Ewing, NJ, May 1, 2006 - Choosing heart-healthy foods isn't easy
with so many choices, and knowing how to read and interpret food labels
can be daunting. That's why the Women's Heart Foundation and the UMDNJ
School of Health Related Professions, Dietetic Internship Program have
teamed up to provide a unique educational program that helps high school
students make healthier food choices right at the grocery store shelf.
'Shopping for a Healthy Heart' was started by the Women's Heart Foundation
in 2003. In 2005, the Foundation was challenged to integrate the grocery
store program into its highly successful Teen Esteem health and fitness
program at the Trenton Central High School, accommodating 70 - 90 students
and chaperones all at one time. This meant that the format had to be revised,
so in June of 2005, the WHF contacted the UMDNJ Dietetic Internship
Program and asked for their expert assistance. Together, they worked
with Wegmans to create a new outreach for adolescent girls.
"'Shopping for a Healthy Heart' has worked out very well, especially
for the Teen Esteem girls, who are the beneficiaries" says Bonnie Arkus,
WHF founder and executive director. "First, the students complete a
pre-test. Then they tour the grocery store by rotating through five
stations manned by dietitians and dietetic interns. After sampling vendor
products and learning about some of the different food choices, and how
to read and interpret food labels, the students take a post-test and
enjoy a heart-healthy lunch served up by Wegmans. The day is managed
as a field trip and it is highly interactive and fun."
Denise Langevin, MS, RD, Director of the UMDNJ Dietetic Internship
program, oversees Shopping for a Healthy Heart at Wegmans. "We are
pleased to collaborate on this program as part of our community outreach.
Studies show health choices made during adolescence will follow through
a lifetime. It is critically important that we try and reach these girls
during this phase of development", she said.
'Shopping for a Healthy Heart' will take place May 2 at 9:30 a.m. at
Wegmans, Nassau Park Boulevard, Route 1 in Princeton.
Teen Esteem is an all-girl gym-alternative program that includes a health
and nutrition curriculum and a customized fitness program that employs
two part time personal fitness trainers and a dietitian. The program is
being studied for the effect an intervention has on teen girls' health
choices and has partnered with Rutgers University-Camden to conduct the
research. Funding for the current school year was provided by a grant
from the Horizon Foundation of New Jersey and the state of New Jersey.
WHF needs funds to continue the program into the 2006-07 school year and
to expand and sustain the program.
The Women's Heart Foundation is a consumer-based heart organization
that designs and implements heart wellness and prevention programs for
women. For more information, contact the Women's Heart Foundation at
(609) 771-9600 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org