Nursing Students are Cooking up Ways to Combat the Obesity Epidemic

Samuel Merritt University

September 18, 2010

Nursing Students are Cooking up Ways to Combat the Obesity Epidemic

(OAKLAND, Calif., September 18, 2010)   Some Samuel Merritt University (SMU) nursing students are tackling the obesity epidemic by educating low-income teens about nutrition and health.


Three SMU nurse practitioner students from the Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing program will be hosting 30 students from Glide Memorial Church, a non-profit serving the low-income community located in San Francisco, to a ‘Healthy Living Day.’  The project is aimed at teens to serve and eat nutritious food and encourage them to be more physically active.

“We are taking the teens to Sur La Table in downtown San Francisco where we will team up with a nutritionist to organize a nourishing menu,” said Rumi Yokota, SMU nursing student.  “Then we will head to Yerba Buena Gardens for a picnic and to do a variety of physical activities such as soccer and other outdoor games.”


National studies show one-third of American children are obese, and obesity-related conditions cost almost $150 billion annually.  Canyon Steinzig, RN, PhD:C, assistant professor of nursing, is supervising the project and said it is important for nursing students to hone their skills in non-hospital settings.

“This project will allow nursing students to work with teens in promoting community based education and preventive care,” Steinzig said.  “It’s our goal as nurses to promote a healthy lifestyle for people in their communities.” 

“This project will allow us work with teens on how to care for themselves,” said Kacee Williams, SMU nursing student.  “In the process, I’m learning a lot about how nurses can communicate with young patients in an effective manner.  I am also learning that nursing can and should have a role in health promotion and illness prevention.”  

September Is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month


Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 12:00pm 


Sur La Table - 77 Maiden Ln, San Francisco


Interviews and photo/filming opportunities available.   Contact Elizabeth Valente, Associate Director of Media Relations at 510.725.7980 and 

Samuel Merritt University, located in Oakland, California, has been educating health science practitioners who are committed to making a positive difference in diverse communities since 1909.  Nearly 1,400 students are enrolled at SMU, with campuses in Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Mateo.  The University offers an undergraduate degree in nursing; master's degrees in nursing, occupational therapy, physician assistant; and doctoral degrees in physical therapy and podiatric medicine. For more information visit

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