WesternU COMP-Northwest students present research at Childhood Obesity Summit

LEBANON, Oregon – Two WesternU COMP-Northwest medical students presented their research at the Seventh Annual Regional Childhood Obesity Prevention Summit, held Wednesday, April 20 at Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital in Lebanon.

First-year medical students Morgan Ricci and Patrick Conway led a six-week cooking class at the Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Santiam. The class was open to fourth- and fifth-grade students at the Club and focused on impacting children’s knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding food choices.

Throughout the class, kids sampled and cooked with fruits, vegetables, whole foods and grains. The youngsters prepared food items including a garbanzo/black bean hummus with carrots and broccoli, sunflower seed butter with apples, snack ball (compared to a chewy snack bar), green smoothie (with fruits and spinach), and kale chips.

“I do feel that we changed some of the kids’ minds on not only what a nutritious snack looks like, but also their abilities in making those healthy snacks,” said Ricci.

The medical students are part of the Lifestyle Medicine Longitudinal Track at COMP-Northwest. The program provides the student-doctors with a comprehensive overview of lifestyle medicine, while focusing on results-based wellness and chronic disease intervention.

“Seeing the enthusiasm the kids had for getting in the kitchen and trying new foods each and every week made the whole experience special,” said Conway. “It was really cool to see they were already making some of these snacks on their own at home.”

The medical students plan on continuing the cooking class at the Boys & Girls Club next school year.

About Western University of Health Sciences Western University of Health Sciences (http://www.westernu.edu/), located in Pomona, Calif. and Lebanon, Ore., is an independent nonprofit health professions university, conferring degrees in biomedical sciences, dental medicine, health sciences, medical sciences, nursing, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, podiatric medicine and veterinary medicine. WesternU is home to the Patient Care Center, where the best in collaborative health care services is offered. The Chronicle of Higher Education named WesternU a Great College to Work For in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

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