Children’s Literature and Nutrition Education in Low Socioeconomic Status Communities
Advisor: Maria Todd, Professor of Biology
Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. In a country as developed, and technologically advanced as the U.S., this is unacceptable. People of lower socioeconomic status are more likely to experience the effects of this troubling statistic. Children in these communities even more so. Improper nutrition and poor eating habits during childhood can drastically affect health well into adulthood and even for future generations via epigenetic phenomena. Thus, it is imperative to educate children from low socioeconomic communities on the importance of healthy eating so that they might develop habits that carry into adulthood. What better way to do this than to depict foods as having “superpowers?” After all, antioxidants in berries can help protect cells from free radicals, and curcumin in turmeric can modify the release of stress hormones from the adrenal glands, thus aiding in the decrease of bodily inflammation. My interactive book, printed in both English and Spanish, sets out to convey these everyday biological miracles as extraordinary magical feats to excite children about the power contained within healthy foods. Everyone deserves the opportunity to live their lives to the fullest without having to worry about preventable illness cutting them far too short.