Member and Industry News

May 13, 2014

‘NPT Reports: Children’s Health Crisis` Focuses on Food | Premieres Online and On-Air May 22

‘NPT Reports: Children’s Health Crisis` Focuses on Food | Premieres Online and On-Air May 22
by Nashville Health Care Council | May 13, 2014

‘NPT Reports: Children’s Health Crisis: Food,’ hosted by Kimberly Williams Paisley, premieres May 22 online and on-air; advance screening and discussion to be held May 20 at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – May 9, 2014 – Nearly 16 million children in the United States have limited or uncertain access to adequate food. While the American Heart Association recommends high-school aged children eat 3 servings of vegetables a day, in Tennessee only 13% achieve that goal. Additionally, nearly one in five adolescents skips breakfast, and one in three children is obese or overweight.

“NPT Reports: Children’s Health Crisis: Food” will premiere online on Thursday, May 22 at noon at via the OVEE online engagement web viewer, and at 8:00 p.m. that same evening on-air at NPT-Channel 8. Those wishing to attend the online screening should visit that week for the direct link.

The documentary will be previewed on Tuesday, March 20 with a special lunchtime screening and discussion at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. Paisley will be among the guest speakers, along with Jaynee Day, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank, and Courtney Grimes Cuden, a psychotherapist and director of programs and outreach for Eating Disorders Coalition of Tennessee, both of whom both appear in the documentary; Beth Curley, president and CEO of NPT, Megan Morton, executive director, Community Food Advocates; and Dianne Killebrew, M.Ed. R.D., L.D.N. educational coordinator, Vanderbilt. Jennifer Justus, notable food writer and advocate, will moderate the discussion.

The event will take place on Tuesday, May 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and include lunch catered by Second Harvest’s Culinary Arts Center. Second Harvest Food Bank is located at 331 Great Circle Road, Nashville, Tenn., 37228.

Members of the media wishing to attend the event should RSVP with Joe Pagetta at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or (615) 259-9325 ext. 211.

Starting with the important role that breakfast and lunch plays in the life of healthy and engaged students, courtesy of interviews with Knox County Schools Director of School Nutrition Jon Dickl and Mooreland Heights Elementary principal Roy Miller, Pedigo goes on to include interviews with Marlene Schwartz, Director for the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University, and Cuden, who both talk about the industrial growth and resulting deterioration of the American diet, and how that has affected our very relationship to food.

“It’s rare to me to come across someone, a child or adolescent or an adult that has a healthy relationship with food,” says Cuden. “I think that our relationship with this substance has become very dysfunctional. We use it as a drug, we use it to make us feel better, we use it to shift our mood, we use it as reward, we can use it as punishment, we can use it for just about anything besides what it’s meant to do which is to fuel our bodies and keep us going.”

From there the documentary discusses the role that breastfeeding plays in child’s development – only 4% of Tennessee babies meet the goal of 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding recommended by The American Academy of Pediatrics – and how breastfeeding helps babies learn when they are full, cues that influence our eating habits in later life. Other topics discussed in the documentary include the rise in reliance on fast food for working families, the effect of farming subsidies for commodity, food marketing to children, malnutrition, food insecurity, how to read food labels, negative body images and eating disorders, and lastly, why a return to family dinners may be just what the nutritionist ordered.

Those interviewed in the documentary, in addition to Cuden, Day, Dickl, Miller and Schwartz, include Kate Cropp, director of lactation services at Nashville Birth & Babies:Shari Barkin, MD, MSHS, professor in the department of pediatrics and the chief of general pediatrics at the Monroe Carrel Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt; Tammy Algood, fruits & vegetable marketing specialist, Tennessee Departement of Agriculture;John Patrick, instructor at Lipscomb University and co-owner of Foggy Hollow Farm;Jennifer Harris Rudd, PHd, MBA, director of marketing initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University; Rebecca Puhl, PHd, deputy director at the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University; and Sherrica Proctor, whose family participated in Vanderbilt University’s GROW trial.

The March 22 on-air broadcast will conclude with a panel of in-studio experts and medical professionals. During the broadcast, viewers are encouraged to discuss the show Twitter with hashtag #childrenshealth and @npt8.

NPT’s Children’s Health Crisis Project is a multi- initiative built around a series of seven documentaries on the state of children’s health in Tennessee. Other elements of the project include follow-up discussion programs, daily on-air health updates, an extensive project website at and community outreach on related topics.

“Food” is the ninth episode in the series. Previous episodes include “Overview,” “Infant Mortality,” Obesity,” “Prevention,” “Mental Health,” Sexuality,” “Culture of Health,” and “Family Health.” All episodes of the nine-part series, as well as bonus interviews and extended segments are available for free streaming at

“NPT Reports: Children’s Health Crisis” is made possible through major support by the Healthways Foundation, the Nashville Health Care Council, The HCA Foundation, Metro Public Health Department, additional funding support provided by Baptist Healing Trust and the Orrin H. Ingram Fund. A multitude of community partnerships have provided invaluable support to the project, most notably Alignment Nashville, whose “5 Pillars of Children’s Health” provided the initial outline for the project.

About Nashville Public Television:
Nashville Public Television, Nashville’s PBS station, is available free and over-the-air to nearly 2.4 million people throughout the Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky viewing area, through its main NPT and secondary NPT2 channels, and to anyone in the world through its stable of NPT Digital services, including, YouTube and the PBS video app. The mission of NPT is to provide, through the power of traditional television and interactive digital communications, high quality educational, cultural and civic experiences that address issues and concerns of the people of the Nashville region, and which thereby help improve the lives of those we serve.

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