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MTSU promotes high school nutrition education with...

MTSU promotes high school nutrition education with June 9 workshop, book

The work of promoting nutrition, both as a lifestyle and as a career, continues as MTSU helps high school teachers make healthy eating a part of their students’ lives.

Dr. Janet Colson, professor of nutrition and food science and registered dietician, Department of Human Sciences
Dr. Janet Colson

Janet Colson, a professor of nutrition and food science and a registered dietitian, will host a free teacher training session for high school educators from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, June 9, in Room 106 of the Ellington Human Sciences Building, 2623 Middle Tennessee Blvd. Remote attendance is available at https://tinyurl.com/2wt6dyd5

“I think nutrition is something that we all need to be aware of,” Colson said. “It’s something that we need to learn at an early age and practice it at an early age so we won’t be developing diabetes or high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease later in life.”

MTSU is the only university in Tennessee that offers both dual credit and dual enrollment learning experiences in the field of nutrition.

Nutrition Across the LifeSpan” is an introductory class that covers pregnancy, lactation, feeding young children, nutrition for older adults and other topics for high school students at the sophomore level.

Nutrition, Science and Diet Therapies,” which is taught at the junior level, covers nutrients and special diets for people who have diabetes, hypertension, cancer, celiac disease and other conditions that require individualized attention.

Department of Human Sciences logo

After taking “LifeSpan,” students can take a dual credit exam at the end of the school year. If they pass that exam, they will earn three hours of college credit toward MTSU’s introductory nutrition class, “Principles of Nutrition” (NFS 1240).

“Nutrition, Science and Diet Therapies” is offered as a dual enrollment, online-only course in which the high school students take the same class that MTSU students take. If they pass that class, they will earn three hours of college credit.

“We typically have maybe 20, 25 students at the high school level who actually do the dual enrollment class,” Colson said. “Fortunately, this year, we have two of those students who have decided to come here to MTSU, and they are majoring in nutrition right now.”

Dr. Sandra Lynn Poirier, Human Sciences faculty
Dr. Sandra Poirier
Yvonne Dadson (Image submitted)
Yvonne Dadson

Whether the high school students choose to make nutrition their profession or simply put what they learn to use in their own lives, they can have a book to guide them. Colson, along with Sandra Poirier, an MTSU professor of nutrition and food science, and MTSU alumna and registered dietitian nutritionist Yvonne Dadson selected, remixed and edited the content of “Introduction to Nutrition and Wellness.”

The book is designed for MTSU “Principles of Nutrition” students and “Nutrition Across the Lifespan” high school students. Alicia Burns, a senior in the university’s nutrition and food science program, created PowerPoint slides for the vitamin and mineral units.

Colson said most nutrition textbooks are created for college students in their 20s and they leave out information pertinent to high school students. For example, the method for determining obesity in teenagers is different that than the method used to determine obesity in adults.

“I want the high school superintendents to know that nutrition can be taught at the high school level, and we here at MTSU are creating a book for them to use,” Colson said.

For more information on the teacher nutrition workshop or any of the free materials that will be offered, contact Colson at 615-898-2091 or janet.colson@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

In this April 2022 file photo, students in MTSU professor Janet Colson's nutrition and food science class prepare healthy food in a kitchen in the Ellington Human Sciences Building. Pictured, from left, are Nada Abdelghani, Brian Segovia, Tylor Armistead, and Alicia Burns. Burns created PowerPoint slides for "Introduction to Nutrition and Wellness," an open-access textbook for MTSU's "Principles of Nutrition" class and the "Nutrition Across the Lifespan" high school classes.
In this April 2022 file photo, students in MTSU professor Janet Colson’s nutrition and food science class prepare healthy food in a kitchen in the Ellington Human Sciences Building. Pictured, from left, are Nada Abdelghani, Brian Segovia, Tylor Armistead, and Alicia Burns. Burns created PowerPoint slides for “Introduction to Nutrition and Wellness,” an open-access textbook for MTSU’s “Principles of Nutrition” class and the “Nutrition Across the Lifespan” high school classes. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

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