Saturday, October 4, 2008

A touch of sugar

Cereal nutrition in the news today, discusses sugar. Here is a tip for decreasing sugar in your morning cereal, but, first, a nutrition lab that overlaps with other areas like shopping, advertising, marketing, and, human behavior.

Every parent or guardian seems to discover that children, as well as adults are attracted to ideas in marketing and advertising. In a course I designed called, Nutrition, Health and Lifestyles, we discussed breakfast cereals and other overlaps among the science of nutrition.

In one of the labs that I designed for the course, students analyze supermarket fliers for area of advertising devoted to good and bad nutrition, or, analyze television commercial time devoted to good and bad nutrition . Students quantitatively describe what constitutes good and bad nutrition for their own experimental designs. Students love this lab. I also did the lab and used my own analysis to decide where to shop. (I like shopping where the person deciding what to sell considers the health of the shoppers.)

The lab can readily be adapted to students from K through graduate school, based on level of analysis and reference to sayings of parents or grandparents or school nurses, to, references in the technical literature of both science and business.

Typically, there has been much space and time devoted to sugary cereals in the media. As a parent, I didn't want my child to never have cereals other children craved. A solution we came up with in our household was to use the "sugared cereals," in the sugar bowl and sprinkle a spoonful of that onto a healthy breakfast cereal selection. For example, one might put a spoonful of Fruit L.-Coco P.- Captain C., or other sweet cereal, onto a dish of old-fashioned oatmeal. Children readily adapt to this, "special use," of the sweet cereals. The result is connecting science to what you and your children eat, and, a healthier family.

Enjoy breakfast together! Enjoy science together!

(c)2008 J S Shipman

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