Nutrition education classes for free are offered during the summer months in The Helping Center of Marble Falls 1016 Broadway. The first class , held on Thursday, May 26 was part of a bigger “Get the Facts” program that seeks to educate the public on healthful eating and nutrition.

“We’re very passionate about sharing nutrition information because many Americans do not have a foundational education in diet,” explained Kailey Roberts who is one of the Burnet County AgriLife extension agent for Family and Community Health.

Roberts has committed to offering every month classes in nutrition education within the facility. The next two classes will be the 31st of June and July 21.

The class of May 26 was focused on understanding the importance of nutrition labels as well as the role of fats in a balanced — or unhealthy diet. The class was small and only lasted 30 minutes, yet Roberts made the most of her time by using tools for teaching such as exercises for thinking visual aids, as well as study guides.

“When you visit your doctor, they’re not going to have time to discuss the issue in detail with you.” stated Katherien deats who was one of the class’s 10 participants. Deats stated that her doctor and nutritionists typically give couple of suggestions for the best products to purchase but don’t tell you the reasons behind it.

“A majority of it is simply too complicated,” she added. “I am overwhelmed by it all.”

“I want to magically provide everyone with the ideal checklist of what foods to eat or the opposite,” Roberts said. “That’s the reason knowing the meaning of this list of labels could help determine what’s essential for your family and you.”

The U.S. obesity rate between 2017 between March 2020 and 2017 was 41.9 percent according to a study during that time from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also revealed that obesity-related diseases result in a cost of $173 billion per year. The average person with obesity will spend $1,861 more on medical expenses than a person with a healthy weight.

“I am very happy to be able to offer this information to those who aren’t getting this information through their usual doctor,” Roberts said. “I would like them to be able to read the Nutrition Facts label. They will also comprehend what’s important on these nutrition facts labels and make better decisions based on what they value.”

This is The Helping Centre’s debut “Get the Facts” nutrition class.

“We had 10 people present. We were English people, Spanish speakers, lots of questions that were good, and numerous anecdotal feedback from the people who were there,” said Barbara King who is the Learn4Life Program Coordinator of The Helping Center. “It was a tremendous event that was a huge success.”

The Helping Center is a food pantry that provides food to 247 people per month throughout the Marble Falls region.

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