Dr. Jane Pentz, founder of the National Childhood Obesity Awareness Initiative, received her undergraduate degree in nutritional biochemistry from Vassar College. Her education continued at Tufts University where she received her Masters and Ph.D. degrees in nutritional biochemistry.

After 10 years in the industry, Dr. Pentz and several colleagues established The American Academy of Sports Dietitians and Nutritionists (AASDN) in response to the need for differentiating between clinical, licensed nutrition professionals and wellness/sports related nutrition professionals. The mission of AASDN is to disseminate accurate, sound, scientific wellness information by qualified individuals.

In 2009 AASDN and the NCOAI partnered with the USDA / Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.  As a community partner, we are committed to establishing programs that promote physical fitness and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In furtherance of this mission we have developed a Youth Nutrition Program free of charge.

During a 6 month sabbatical, Dr. Pentz and co-author, Doug Dwyer, published a young adult novel with a purpose. No – Book one of the 8th Day Mystery Series deals with the timeliest of issues – obesity and health related diseases in young children.  This first novel of the 8th Day series inspires and motivates young readers to make healthy school lunch choices.

In January 0f 2012, for the first time in 15 years, the USDA issued new guidelines for school meals.  These new guidelines double the amounts of fruits and vegetables in school lunches and boost offerings of whole grain-rich foods.  The NCOAI applauds and supports these new efforts through a collaborative effort through its “Shoot for 20 Stars Day” Initiative.The NCOAI Placemats™, which incorporates a star rating system, provides a simple yet effective tool for educating, inspiring and motivating children to make healthy school lunch choices.

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