Outlook

Students educate about choosing nutritious foods

Monday, May 9, 2011

Junior Alissa Walden, Virginia, educates a customer about the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System at Cobornís.

Junior Alissa Walden, Virginia, educates a customer about the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System at Cobornís.

Students from St. Cloud State who are studying for careers as dieticians or nutritionists helped educate consumers about NuVal, a system aimed to help Central Minnesotans eat healthier by choosing nutritious foods at the grocery store.

CentraCare Health Foundation's BLEND initiative, along with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and Coborn's launched the system in late October and it ran through early December.

Juniors Alissa Walden and Sarah Covelli, St. Joseph, are among a group of students who volunteered for the program.

"Our role as educators is to inform customers on how the scoring system works as they enter the store," said Walden, a community health major.

Food items receive a NuVal score from 1 to 100; the higher the score, the higher the nutrition. Scores are located on the supermarket shelf marked by a hexagon, allowing customers to easily compare the overall nutrition of foods.

Walden and Covelli became involved when project coordinator Jodi Rohe (CentraCare) presented the opportunity in their public health class.

"It was offered as a good opportunity to spread this to the community and make it more approachable," said Covelli. "It helps you make better and ultimately healthier decisions for yourself and for your family."

Covelli, who is pursuing a degree in community health, would know. She not only educates consumers about the system, but as a mother of three she uses it when shopping.

For more information on the NuVal System visit www.BlendCentralMN.org.

Story By Brett Shoene fel d '10 Schoenefeld '10 completed his internship with University Communications this past fall. The Watertown, S.D. native graduated with a bachelor's degree in Public Relations and a minor in Political Science.

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