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Friday, July 02, 2010

Seton Health Receives Grant to Promote Physical Activity and Nutrition in Capital Region Schools

TROY, N.Y. -- Seton Health has received a five year grant from the New York State Department of Health for an annual amount of $127,000 for the Comprehensive Health Policies for Tobacco, Physical Activity and Nutrition program. The school districts in Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene counties will be given free resources and technical assistance in order to comply with state mandates on nutrition and physical activity.

The obesity epidemic among children had placed an additional responsibility on schools to educate students on nutrition and physical activity. The program creates sustainable policies to promote consumption of healthy foods/beverages and expands opportunities for students to be physically active.

“A majority of students eat two out of three meals in school and ongoing research demonstrates a student’s success is affected by nutritional content and amount of physical activity,” said Victoria Keir, program coordinator. “The schools districts have a growing need for resources and assistance to educate its students.”

Each district will complete a School Health Index to determine how it could enhance its current strategies and policies to shape the future of its students. Strategies school districts will implement will be low or no cost, such as improving visibility of healthier food options and removing those unhealthy.

“Schools are in a difficult situation juggling New York State reimbursable dietary guidelines, finding student-approved nutritional options and meeting budgetary constraints,’ said Peggy Keigley, director, Seton Health’s Center for Smoking Cessation. “This program will help schools piece the puzzle together.”

Seton Health staff will be collaborating with the program to offer expert resources to the school districts. Staffs from cardiac rehabilitation, diabetes, dietary, pediatrics, and physical rehabilitation are participating. Several other community organizations such as the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and YMCA are also involved with the program.

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Troy, NY 12180
Phone: (518) 268-5000

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