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Titan Spotlight

Public Health Students Share Knowledge Inspiring Children to Eat Healthy and Move More

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This fall, public health students enrolled in PUBH 470, (Childhood Obesity, Nutrition and Social Context) learned the role social determinants and environmental factors play in the childhood obesity epidemic our country continues to face. In addition to class lectures, discussions and relevant documentaries, the students met at the CSUF Campus Garden periodically where they learned gardening basics, planted seeds, and cared for seedlings. At the end of the semester, they harvested beets, radishes and carrots.

Their professor, Laura Chandler explained, “Childhood obesity is often linked to low income areas that are sometimes referred to as ‘food deserts’ as there is a shortage of grocery stores, farmers markets, and access to fresh fruits and vegetables. By not only learning how to garden but getting excited about growing their own produce, we can address this lack of access in many communities.”

Beyond this experiential learning, Chandler also arranged for her students to visit the CSUF Center for Healthy Neighborhoods in Fullerton. Here, these Titans delivered health education lessons to the children on nutrition, gardening basics, as well as physical activity and wellness. One of the students, Sophia Htay, commented, “Our experience at the center was eye-opening! Actually seeing what we learned in class being implemented in the field made me realize how useful these concepts are and how impactful they can be to the community’s well-being.”

Laura Chandler