NW Eat Smart Campaign Promotes Healthy Eating


By Alma Duskic, Managing Editor

In the age of fast, cheap processed food, eating healthy seems to be a hard task to follow through on. Luckily for Niles West students, though, initiatives like the NW Eats Smart project allow for the Niles West community to learn and implement healthy eating into their everyday lives.

Junior Richard Chen created this awareness program and junior Henry Gussis later joined him this school year as their DECA project for the year.

Our Eat Smart project is about motivating and inspiring students at Niles West to eat healthier and have proper nutrition. We want to make students aware of the effects of unhealthy eating and give them the knowledge and skills they need to eat smart,” Chen said. 

With these intentions, the pair set off to the better the lives of the student population, one stalk of celery at a time. They began with segments in the NWN homeroom announcements, and then they took to social media to further their outreach.

The team even managed to bring in Dr. Mark Huffman from the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Huffman is a cardiologist researcher who was able to stress the importance of healthy eating to those who attended the session. Dr. Huffman also worked to create the app Foodswitch. This app is a platform where nutrition information about foods is available for all to explore.

FoodSwitch gives millions of consumers worldwide access to nutrition info of food products worldwide and offers healthier alternatives. It uses crowdsourcing to add new products to its database. Additionally, it monitors the overall healthfulness of the U.S food supply,” Chen said. 

Through guest speakers and news segments, this duo is putting in the work to keep our student body healthy, and this hard work is not going unrecognized. U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, sent a letter to the two, condemning them for their efforts.

“At the beginning of your Healthy Eating Awareness campaign, it gives me great pleasure to send you a very sincere message of support and good wishes. I send you this message as a former school teacher, a mother, a grandmother, and a Congresswoman,” Schakowsky wrote.

With a level of national outreach like so, students at West began to grasp the magnitude and importance of this project.

“I think this campaign is really important to have in our school because not a lot of people know what they are really putting into their bodies, and this makes people take a step back and think about it,” junior Aida Mehicevic said.

To see more healthy eating tips and tricks, follow @nw_eat_smart on Instagram and Twitter.