The nutritional crisis in America is irrefutable and ubiquitous. Following in its path are numerous health risks: stroke, cardiovascular disease, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and metabolic syndrome, to name a few. The consequences of this trend are not only physiological in nature but also have psychological implications such as depression, social barriers and isolation. Add the economic impact of these nutritional disorders, which present a serious financial burden on both the private and federal levels.
Numerous programs have been introduced to counter this disconcerting problem: schools are mandated to provide wellness programs within their curriculum; after-school programs for children in the lower socioeconomic segment are funded for provision of nutritional foods and education as well as physical activities; media expenses of $1.5 million dollars per year are earmarked by USDA to help impede the continuance of this epidemic. Statistics remain alarming – projections for the future generation predict that 46% of school-aged children will be overweight and 16% will be obese.
The concentration in Nutrition Studies is designed to encourage critical thinking, engage students in dialogue, and increase self-awareness of what their nutritional status may be. It is designed to increase the knowledge base of the depth and implications of nutritional problems and their effects on chronic illnesses. Students in health-related fields such as Exercise Science, Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Community Health, as well as students in elementary and secondary education where basic nutrition is being implemented, will all benefit from this course concentration.