Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Los Angeles children authentically EATalian

Major Health and Economical Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet (IACCW)

In the height of the childhood obesity epidemic, IACCW is partnered with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) for a campaign called Authentically EATalian to bring gardens and cooking classes with prominent LA-based chef into the most underserved elementary schools in Los Angeles, to educate students and their parents on how to benefit from the Mediterranean diet while having low household income.

Adopted by many celebrity women to slow the aging process, the Mediterranean Diet can also help decrease the risk of mental illnesses. For example, Omega-3, B-vitamins and Vitamin C, all commonly found in Mediterranean food, contribute to mental and cardiovascular health as well as decreasing chances of Alzheimer's disease, depression and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.

"Authentically EATalian"
"Authentically EATalian" is a multifaceted, bi-coastal initiative launched by the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West in Los Angeles, with the support of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and Assocamerestero - the Association of Italian Chambers of Commerce in the world. Today there are 76 Chambers in 50 countries with 140 offices and over 24.000 member companies. The Italian Chambers of Commerce Abroad carry out a wide range of activities facilitating the access of Italian companies to the respective markets and promoting the establishment of strategic business relations. Inspired by the Let's Move campaign launched by First Lady Michelle Obama, "Authentically EATalian" aims at giving children and their families a new perspective on food, helping them make better choices, one meal at a time.
OBJECTIVE: promoting Italian food and lifestyle while helping fight childhood / adult obesity in the US through nutrition education based on the Mediterranean diet principles, fitness and family fun activities.
THE ISSUE: Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled. Today, almost one in every three children in the States is obese or overweight. The numbers are even higher in African American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40% of the children are overweight or obese. Putting a STOP to this ever escalating epidemic is crucial. If not, one third of all children born today in America will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives. Many others may face chronic obesity-related health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and asthma.
TARGET: grade school children from selected LA School District's public schools, families and fitness enthusiasts.

About Italy American Chamber of Commerce (IACCW):
Founded in 1987, The Italy-American Chamber of Commerce West (IACCW) is a nonprofit organization that connects entrepreneurs, schools, families and epicureans with authentic Italian culture to boost trade relations, healthy living and success with consumer-driven businesses.

About Chef Nicola Chessa:
Chessa joined restaurateur Piero Selvaggio's award-winning Valentino Restaurant Group in 2003. He trained in Las Vegas as a sous chef under James Beard award-winning Chef Luciano Pellegrini, at Valentino Las Vegas inside The Venetian-Resort-Hotel-Casino and after a short time was named Executive Chef at Giorgio Ristorante, where he still oversees kitchen operations and menu.

About Dr. Dena Herman:
Dr. Herman received her doctorate and master's degrees in public health from UCLA and her master's in nutrition sciences from Friedrich-Wilhelms University of Bonn, Germany.  She has expertise in both pediatric and life course nutrition.  Dr. Herman teaches in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine.  

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