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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Pyramid comes to BG

With the introduction of the new food pyramid this year and the rising rate of obesity in America, a spring series aims to inform people about what they are eating and how to develop healthy eating habits.

Bowling Green Parks and Recreation and the BGSU Dietetics Department have teamed up for a four part spring series, “Get a Taste for Nutrition.” The two last sessions will take place this Thursday and May 5 at the Veterans North Building in City Park. Each session lasts one hour from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The sessions are free but attendees are asked to register by calling BG Parks and Recreation at (419) 354-6223.

The upcoming sessions are titled “Protein for Life” and “Calories In, Calories Out,” respectively.

Each session is arranged to address several key questions about each carbohydrates, fats, proteins and calories, said Christine Haar, undergraduate dietetics program director in the department of family and consumer sciences.

They include: Why do we need them?, Where to find them?, How much do we need? and questions specific to each topic.

“I think it [nutrition] is really mysterious to some people and we hope to take the mystery out of that a little bit,” Haar said.

The program was initiated to get undergraduate students and interns practical experience for their careers, Haar said. Last year similar series addressed questions about fad diets, fast food, feeding children and vegetarians, Haar said.

“This year’s series is a theme from the American Dietetics Association for National Nutrition month,” Haar said.

She plans on having teaching series like this part of the program for senior dietetics majors next fall.

“The idea is when people are in parks they are being physically active so why not try to affiliate that with other parts of a healthy lifestyle including nutrition,” Haar said. “Through a nutrition series we thought it might be a way to provide information to the public.”

The series aims to inform people about what they are eating and clear up some common misconceptions about foods they eat, Haar said.

“Especially with the Atkins diet they’ve gotten the implication that carbs are bad,” she said.

Audience participation is also key, Haar said. People are encouraged to plan their own diets and express questions they have about nutrition.

In addition to recent fad diets, the USDA introduced a new food pyramid a few weeks ago, Haar said. A personalized pyramid and eating plan can be accessed via the new Web site

This series is put on in conjunction with a nationwide program the Bowling Green City Parks are involved in called Hearts N’ Parks, supported by the National Hear, Lung and Blood Institute and the National Recreation and Park Association.

“It’s an initiative through the recreation and park association, a grass roots effort to get people out and engaged in heart healthy acts,” said Kristin Otley, recreation coordinator for Bowing Green parks and recreation.

The program is about community members taking advantage of free services offered by their parks, Otley said. Not everyone has to join a gym to get exercise, she said.

“Everybody has a heart healthy facility close to where they live,” she said. “Any little thing that they do will increase their activity and their knowledge in what’s good for them.”

With current trends in the nation, it’s clear that programs like this are needed, Otley said.

“There is always concern for people’s health and with the rise in obesity,” she said. “We’ve actually had people inquiring, wanting to know where to go for information.”

The park is currently constructing a community center building to be open in late August, Otley said. There is a possibility for further programs next year.

“We’ve talking abut combining this with some cooking so we could act out teaching in a class setting,” she said.

What’s important for putting on series like this is hearing from the public who attend the events, Haar said.

“We want to know what people are hearing about nutrition and what do they seem to want to know more about,” she said.

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