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The November 25, 2012 edition of The Daily Record featured an interview with Linda about the Coach EatRight program. The text of the article is reproduced below.
Coach Eat Right helps obese kids to slim down
Written by Wilma A. Hurwitz
Not just another diet fad, Coach Eat Right is designed to help obese children tackle their own weight-loss requirements. The Daily Record asked owner and founder Linda Tartaglia of Morristown about this new kind of educational product.
Daily Record: What made you create Coach Eat Right?
Linda Tartaglia: “I recognized back in 1998 that there was an obesity crisis here in the United States and I wanted to figure out a way to help. Following academic training at University of Delaware in business/marketing and years of work experience as a business project manager, I pursued a second undergraduate degree in nutrition from College of St. Elizabeth. On one project, I chose to create a lesson plan on understanding the food pyramid for third graders.
“Obesity with kids today is going into epidemic proportions. We are always hearing that Centers for Disease Control surveys show that one out of three children today is overweight or obese. Yet you never hear some suggestions on how to change this paradigm.
“Tackling obesity is a big lifestyle change that has to begin in the home. The Coach Eat Right framework for changing a child’s eating habits helps parents to convey the right messages about healthy eating.
“Our target audiences are anyone who cares about kids — parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles; the users are children from 4 to 13 years old.”
DR: Tell us about the design and message in your Coach Eat Right Product.
LT: “There is a Coach Eat Right place mat that serves as a teaching tool and special measuring cup and a bowl to help kids understand what a serving really is. For example, the Coach Eat Right bowl shows the appropriate servings for cereal, rice or pasta. The child learns how to apportion his/her servings throughout the day to comply with the Coach Eat Right dietary guidelines.
“The Coach Eat Right place mat is a simple way to learn how to eat right. You can actually see what it means to “eat healthy.” If a child colors in the serving blocks, they will learn: A) all the food groups that they need to eat each day; B) how many servings they need in each food group each day; and C) what a serving equals (many children don’t realize how much they are eating).
“Coach Eat Right also includes three children’s books that serve as a colorful and enjoyable way to learn the key fundamentals of good health. Book Number 1 is “Eating Good Food Gives You Energy;” book Number 2 “Exercising Is Important to Fitness and Health” and book Number 3 is “Self Esteem…Love Who You Are.”
“We are delighted to have created something to help the parents take charge of this process.”
DR: What personality traits help you the most?
LT: “Perseverance and drive. I love creating and developing characters, stories and tools that will help kids develop a healthier lifestyle.”
DR: Are others working with you on this project?
LT: “Dr. Patricia Davidson joined the team in 2010. She is a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator with a masters and doctorate in clinical nutrition. With more than 23 years experience in the treatment of diabetes and obesity, she has a private practice that focuses on treating these metabolic disorders. Dr. Davidson is also an adjunct professor at New York University and Montclair State University where she teaches medical nutrition therapy and nutrition assessment.