Two students from the University of Wollongong working in the Far West Local Health District Dietetics Department will be asking people at the YMCA how they can bring easily accessible education on nutrition to the community.
The aim is to provide nutrition education services to as many people in the community as possible to help them keep fit and healthy during all stages of life, said Jennifer Vera, UOW dietetics student.
“We want to provide individuals with the tools to develop healthy habits and focus on maintaining a happy, healthy lifestyle rather than treating after the fact.”
The recently opened YMCA Integrated Wellness Centre provided the perfect location for the Far West LHD to run public nutrition education sessions, said Ms Vera.
“It would allow universal access to these sessions and having more services available under one roof will not only enrich existing programs, but may also improve outcomes for those who participate in them.”
Ellen Lollback, student dietitian, said the new Wellness Centre is a place where everyone in the community should feel comfortable. “Our goal is to create a program that everyone feels welcome to, and most importantly, interested in,” she said.
”Food and nutrition is a part of everyone’s daily life which is made difficult by the abundance of conflicting information out there on what you’re supposed to eat. As future dietitians, one of our main jobs is to spread factual and evidence-based information which is what we’re aiming to do here with the YMCA.”
The students will be conducting surveys at the YMCA from Tuesday, 29 January to 1 February 2019 to find out what the needs and wants of the community are, how they could implement programs to cater for these and how the programs might run long term.
“We want to ensure decisions made for the community are made by the community. So if you want to get involved and help guide local nutrition services come on down to the Y and have your say!”