On Monday, April 9th, Kaitlyn Shannon, Student Dietitian from Framingham State University, instructed a nutrition lesson with a classroom of students at Milford High School. In the lesson, the students discussed common sources of sugar within the standard American diet, health risks associated with a high sugar diet, and ways to reduce sugar consumption. Incorporating nutrition education into the classroom is one of the many ways in which the Milford Public School District fulfills its Wellness Policy.
During this lesson, students were assigned common sugar-sweetened beverages. These beverages included coffee, juice, soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks. Students determined the number of teaspoons of sugar within a serving of each of these common beverages using the Nutrition Facts label. The students even measured out the teaspoons of sugar into a plastic cup to gain a better understanding of how much sugar is in each beverage.
As seen in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, reducing the amount of sugar the typical American consumes is of concern. The highest contributor of added sugars in the diet of people over 2 years of age is sugar-sweetened beverages, contributing about 47% of the sugar consumed. Students of high school age have the highest sugar consumption recorded nationally. The students enjoyed how involved the lesson was for them and gained a greater understanding of healthy beverage choices.
In addition to this one nutrition lesson, the John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition also offers classroom resources to promote health and wellness including lessons that address sodium, whole grains, physical activity, among many others on the Resource Center.
Submitted by: Kaitlyn Shannon, Framingham State University Food and Nutrition Student in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics.