The reality of obesity is one our community has faced for some time now. A problem that costs more than $147 million in healthcare costs annually according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Studies also showed that obesity predisposed people to hospitalization and mortality due to the COVID-19. The risk and health challenges that come with obesity has made it a public health concern for many years. According to CDC, 1 in 5 children in America is considered obese, obese children are likely to become obese adults studies show.
While there are different efforts to tackle these issues, there is a need to continue to innovate till the problem is solved and the data reflects change.
FoodNiche-ED® (previously YSCooks) is focused on tackling the problem of nutrition education by providing tools and curriculum for parents and teachers to engage their students. Combining games, interactive learning tools and rewards. In a fun way students will learn the science of food and why their choices matter.
Dr. Julia Olayanju, a geneticist whose doctoral research work focused on understanding how components found in food interacts with our body to impact health, saw the need to educate students on the science of food in a fun and creative way. In 2020, she partnered with a group of food scientists and dietitians to brainstorm a robust curriculum for the students. During the COVID-19 pandemic, FoodNiche-ED® partnered with 30 local libraries to bring fun and engaging nutrition education programming to students through technology.
Through consistent testing the team realized that reward was a great motivator for action. According to feedback from parents, students were innovating and creating healthier ways of making their favorite foods.
Dr. Olayanju is passionate about tackling the issue of childhood and adolescent obesity. Throughout the decades, obesity has slowly increased among the children, with over 18.5% of children aged 2 to 19 considered obese. Utilizing the platform FoodNiche-ED®, students can be educated, engaged and rewarded for making healthier dining choices. For more than 4 years Dr. Olayanju has been working hard to raise awareness and tackle the issue that has plagued our communities. Through internationally recognized conferences/community initiatives she and her team have been working at an incredible rate to increase people’s awareness of the pressing need to educate and empower people to create a healthier future through nutrition.
To learn more about FoodNiche-ED® visit here.