NIH presentation about community-academic partnerships to address obesity among middle school students

On Thursday, March 20, Dr. Laura Bogart will be discussing the development and results of Students for Nutrition and eXercise (SNaX), a five-week middle school-based obesity prevention intervention that combines school-wide food environmental changes, multimedia, encouragement to eat healthy school cafeteria foods, and peer-led education.

She will describe the formation and maintenance of the partnership with the participating school district, the Los Angeles Unified School District, as well as relevant community stakeholders; review the results of the randomized controlled trial; and discuss the policy impact of the research and program dissemination activities. Dr. Bogart is associate professor of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, and research director of the Division of General Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital. Continue reading

Color-coded labels, healthier food

Jan. 7, 2014, Harvard Gazette

Using color-coded labels to mark healthier foods and then displaying them more prominently appears to have prompted customers to make more healthful long-term dining choices in their large hospital cafeteria, according to a report from Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

In the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM), the MGH research team noted that the previously reported changes have continued up to two years after the labeling intervention was introduced.

“Our current results show that the significant changes in the purchase patterns of both hospital employees and all customers resulting from the labels and the choice architecture program did not fade away as cafeteria patrons became used to them,” says Anne Thorndike of the MGH Division of General Medicine, who led the study. ”This is good evidence that these changes in healthy choices persist over time.” Continue reading