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EPES commences Training Course of Health and Nutrition Promoters

EPES Cooking ClassThe  EPES Foundation recently began conducting the training course of community health promoters for the promotion and recovery of nutritional health, based in a rights- and social determinants of health-approach with an emphasis on gender issues.

The training course is aimed toward women from the municipality of El Bosque who will have the chance to share and reflect about the factors that determine our health.  Within the course, the EPES Nutrition Classwomen will be familiarized with and analyze the social factors and conditions that have an impact on overweight, obesity and malnutrition, as well as learning about the diverse proposals oriented to modify the obesogenic environment as a means to recover nutritional health of the population.

In addition, the women will learn and share the experience of cooking balanced meals that are enjoyable and low-cost for families and the community, as well as create strategies to promote nutrition and health at the local level. Among the contents of the course, the main topics include the development of the concepts of health, approaches based in rights and the social determinants of health, and gender issues.

Other topics include the conceptual framework of the determining factors of the food environment in Chile, the epidemiological transition, the commodification of food, the displacement of the traditional diet for ultra-processed foods, and the effects of these on our health, including the prevalence of non-communicable diseases. The course also discusses the impacts of the TPP on the population´s health.

EPES Nutrition TrainingThe training course is directed by the Coordinator of the Nutrition Project at EPES, Susana Jiles, who emphasized that ¨in the area of promotion for the recovery of nutritional health, the incorporation of an approach based in the social determinants of health and rights with an emphasis in gender issues permits the realization that the daily act of eating and the nutritional status of individuals depend upon the social, economic, political and cultural conditions in which individuals and social groups live.¨

She also added that ¨in this context, it is the responsibility of the State to create conditions that allow individuals to have decent and healthy living by safeguarding the right to have a culturally- and nutritionally-appropriate diet.¨

The training course also aims to create a space to problematize the obesogenic environment beyond the individual by analyzing the corporations’ strategies that focus on generating high revenue with their ultra-processed products, including for example the publicity aimed at children.

In addition to the theoretical aspect, through Popular Education methodologies, the training workshop includes four sessions of preparing healthy recipes, and the course ends with the planning and implementation of a community-based activity in their own neighbor  hoods.


Just Released: Nutrition Facts Label Resources!

New Nutrition Facts Label ResourcesIt’s a matter of new facts.

A lot has changed in Americans’ diets since the Nutrition Facts labels first appeared on food packages in 1993. Rates of obesity, heart disease, and cancer are high and portion sizes have become more and more generous. Nutrition science has made new discoveries and connections between food and health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a new Nutrition Facts label design that is easier to read and is helpful for consumers to make healthier, informed food choices.

The FDA says:

Our goal is to help people make better informed food choices that support a healthy diet. The changes are based on updated science that reinforces the link between diet and chronic conditions such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

What’s Changed?

  • Larger and bolder type on serving sizes and amount of calories make it easy to read.
  • Now includes the amount of added sugars and a % daily value.
  • Added sugars should be limited to 10% of daily calories.
  • Vitamin D and potassium added to required nutrients listed.
  • Actual amounts of required nutrients now included.
  • New footnote better explains the percent Daily Value.

Serving Sizes Get a Reality Check

What’s considered a single serving has changed in the decades since the original nutrition label was created. Now serving sizes will be more realistic to reflect how much people typically eat. Package sizes affect how much people eat and drink. Now, for example, both 12 and 20 ounce bottles will be considered 1 serving, since people typically drink both sizes in one sitting.

If food labels are a part of the education you provide students or clients, Learning ZoneXpress has brand new resources that reflect these new changes.  These brand new resources highlight the different sections of the food label to help consumers determine if a food or beverage is a healthy choice, including a review of serving sizes and calories, nutrients to get more and less of, and an explanation of % Daily Value.




Physical activity breaks in MN schools support Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Program

Move Mindfully Yoga PosterStudents at Osseo, MN schools are taking 10 minute movement breaks as part of a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program instituted in their system.  Suspensions and required disciplinary actions have been reduced dramatically. In response to pressure to reduce suspensions and improve learning by reducing disruptive behavior in class, school districts are trying alternative measures with great success. Review entire article in the Star Tribune.

Schools across Minnesota and the entire country are implementing similar practices, and we love seeing the positive impact physical activity and movement can have on learning and behavior. To support these initiatives, Learning ZoneXpress is creating tools for supporting behavioral change with its Move Mindfully series.

Is your school implementing similar practices? We’d love to hear about it and feature you on our blog. Email for more details.

Don’t Be a Turkey…Eat Healthier this Thanksgiving!

The holidays are a great time for celebrating and enjoying your favorite foods, but it is often the hardest time of the year to eat right.

By choosing reasonable portion sizes and healthier dishes, your Thanksgiving dinner can still be healthy and delicious!

pepper bowlaHere are 6 easy tips to keep your Thanksgiving meal healthier:

  1. Eat a hearty breakfast before your holiday meal. If you show up starving you are more likely to overeat.
  2. Eat plenty of vegetables. Go the MyPlate way and fill 2/3rds of your plate with a rainbow of vegetables.
  3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate…Drink lots of water before and during your meal. This will help you feel fuller and keep you from overeating.
  4. Limit sweets. Don’t deprive yourself from your favorite desserts, just enjoy smaller portions and eat slowly while savoring the flavor.
  5. Leave the table when finished with your meal. Lingering at the table may tempt you to snack on leftovers.
  6. Get up and move! Grab the family and go for a walk around the block. Enjoy the fresh air and being outside.

On behalf of everyone here at Learning ZoneXpress, we wish you a healthy and happy Thanksgiving holiday!

November is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Caregivers Month!

November is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Caregivers Month. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. At the time, fewer than 2 million Americans had Alzheimer’s; but today, that number has soared to nearly 5.4 million.

Did you know that there are lifestyle habits that can help you maintain or potentially improve your health as you age?


These habits fit into four categories:

  • Physical health and exercise
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Cognitive activity
  • Social engagement

All of these healthy lifestyle habits can help keep your body and brain healthy and potentially reduce your risk of cognitive decline.

Research has suggested that combining good nutrition with mental, social and physical activities may have a greater benefit in maintaining or improving brain health than any single activity.

Embrace lifestyle habits that improve your overall health, such as exercising, consuming a nutritious diet, and staying cognitively and socially active. Science has shown that these may support brain health as well. It’s never too late, or too early to make changes to achieve a healthier lifestyle .

Get involved this month, and help raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease.