Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC Medical Correspondent, Visits The Hun School of Princeton

Dr. Nancy Snyderman, chief medical editor for NBC News, spoke to middle school students at The Hun School of Princeton on Tuesday, May 9th. Science teacher, Madeline Jones invited Dr. Snyderman to speak to her eighth grade science classes. Dr. Snyderman reviewed the causes and risks of obesity particularly in relation to non-infectious diseases such as stroke, diabetes, and cancer.

Normally, Dr. Snyderman’s task is to explain a complicated medical procedure or emerging technology to an estimated ten million people, in a straightforward and uncomplicated manner. In front of middle school students, she was right at home.

Dr. Snyderman brought props to help illustrate her message and engage her audience. Students passed around one-pound and five-pound molds of fatty tissue; they were shown the size of dinner-plates in 1976, in relation to current dinner-plates; and students reviewed labels of everyday food items.

“The most important element of a food label is serving size,” insisted Dr. Snyderman. “It’s crucial for you to know how much of something you will actually eat.” Other tips and tricks in addition to portion control, was not to eat on the go, drinking water twenty-minutes before a meal, and exercise. “Studies show that after the third bite, our tastes buds get bored. By eating slower, not only can we enjoy our food more, but we won’t become as full. That’s because after twenty minutes of eating, we start to feel full. If you are eating mindlessly, like you do in front of a television, or while driving a car, you will consume more food more rapidly. Or you can drink water ahead of time to take up some of the space,” Dr. Snyderman explained.

Dr. Snyderman offered much advice, but stressed that students continue to self educate in their adult life. “The factor that has the most impact on a person’s life span, a factor that trumps gender, race, and socio-economic status, is the level of a person’s education. Keep learning,” Dr. Snyderman pleaded.

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