The Shanghai pediatric nutrition program reached a critical milestone with the selection of 21 new research programs to partner and fund this year through Project HOPE’s Abbott Fund Institute of Nutrition Science (AFINS) initiative at the Shanghai Children's Medical Center. The SENTAG team reviewed 50 proposal submissions and I’m sure it was a battle getting to the critical 21 that will provide the required targeted research on prenatal nutrition, child obesity, and support programs for children in the critical care phase as well as students in underdeveloped areas. Project HOPE's Program Manager, Jenny Xu has been working hard on facilitating a smooth, successful and enjoyable process for all involved and she makes it look easy…you go girl!
Both HOPE Program Director Lily Hsu and Jenny are very excited about a continuation of a program from last year that targets the effective use of the 3 RMB lunch subsidy provided by the Chinese government to the 100 selected pilot counties. (China is divided into provinces which are made of cities consisting of counties…the county component was new to me!) Project HOPE is trying to help provide practical and sustainable guidelines on how best to use the 3 RMB to provide nutritional lunches ranging from menu development to co-op agricultural engagements with local farmers.
Last year, baseline surveys indicated that most lunches contain rice and salty beans for example, and these lunches significantly lack core nutrition components that the children need to grow and develop lifelong healthy habits. Both you and I know that childhood habits can stay with us and influence our adult lifestyle for the good and the bad! I can certainly think of a few (ok, maybe many but I’m not sharing!) bad habits I still have from childhood along with those that I picked up along the way. The interesting thing is that I didn’t even know some of these eating choices were bad, until I learned and became aware. I wish I knew more about the healthy habits and not so healthy habits when I was growing up, but I am now passing the gained knowledge and wisdom to my circle of friends and my large family! It is an example of how preventive education or public awareness can still benefit me and those around me!
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