Fuel the force

Dietetics students create nutrition program for Corvallis Police Department
dietetic students

Bailey Pruner, Prabha Honrath, Madeline Nutter, Dana Bean and Brooklyn Reeves (L to R) evolved an in-class project into a pilot nutrition program for the Corvallis Police Department.

The schedules of a police worker and college student are surprisingly similar. They’re often tired, stressed and constantly on the move. Oregon State dietetics students marinated in this similarity as they created a pilot nutrition program for the Corvallis Police Department (CPD).

Dietetics class project comes to life

Neilann Horner, clinical associate professor and dietetic program director, says the CPD wellness committee contacted her seeking help in developing nutrition information for their employees.

To meet the need, students in her Promoting Food and Nutrition course tailored their class project to the lifestyle of police workers. Neilann also offered to help a group with implementation after the course ended.

Brooklyn Reeves, along with fellow students Dana Bean, Prabha Honrath, Madeline Nutter and Bailey Pruner, seized the opportunity.

Fueling the force

Over the next six months, they dedicated their free time to evolve the in-class project into a pilot nutrition program called Fuel the Force.

The eight-week Fuel the Force program is composed of weekly goals, all focused on promoting healthy eating habits — specifically, increased consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, as well as healthy protein sources and hydration.

“The behaviors we’re promoting have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illness,” Dana says. “Especially the ones officers would be susceptible to, such as heart disease, which is related to high-stress jobs.”

The team will conduct a postsurvey and a wrap-up session to evaluate the pilot and to determine if it could be replicated at other police and fire departments across the state.

“It feels amazing to know we are providing the Corvallis Police Department with proper nutrition information and will hopefully be making a positive impact on their lives.”
– Bailey Pruner, junior

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