Middle School Nutrition Education Media Project

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Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson was instrumental in the recent passage of a Federal appropriation through USDA for research to be conducted by the Institute for Obesity Research and Program Evaluation (affiliated with Texas A&M University and Texas AgriLIFE Research). After meeting with Representative Johnson’s staff, the team of TAMU researchers led by Dr. Peter S. Murano, Director of the Institute, decided to focus the research activity on an innovative project, “Engaging Middle School Youth in Development and Optimization of Two Nutrition Education Media Products to Improve Nutrition Knowledge and Energy Balance”, which will engage youth in a Dallas ISD middle school. Project activities are slated to begin with the 2010-2011 school year.

Project Objectives
This project has two components: 1) to use a design-based approach that engages youth in developing two media products that provide nutrition education and 2) to work with community partners to implement the research findings, establishing a foundation for future partnership opportunities. Middle school-aged students will provide input in development and testing of an informational “energy expenditure icon” to be placed on food labels, designed to function at any point-of-purchase (e.g., vending machines, cafeterias, etc.) or in food merchandising (e.g., media and print ads). Students will also be involved in the development of an interactive game that aligns with national and state science and math standards. The focus of the game will be to establish and build on students’ understanding of the difference between nutrition and food, and their influences on the body, energy needs, and physical performance. The Institute is very excited to link with pre-existing childhood obesity prevention efforts in Dallas. For more information about the project contact Dr. Cynthia Warren, Project Coordinator, at, phone 979-845-0131.


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