Community Notebook: Palo Alto High hosts 'Real Fun Food' event


In partnership with the Institute for Responsible Nutrition, Palo Alto High School will be playing host on Thursday, Sept. 8, to three health experts and a New York Times journalist to discuss topics like healthy eating, childhood obesity and processed foods.

At the invitation of Paly journalism teacher Esther Wojcicki, the school will be holding the Institute for Responsible Nutrition’s "Real Food Fun" program at the new Media Arts Center. There will be an "Iron Chef"- style "food hackathon" (student-chefs will compete against each other), as well as appetizers and drinks.

Anahad O’Connor, who covers health and wellness for The New York Times, will moderate a discussion with Dr. Robert Lustig, a University of California, San Francisco, pediatric endocrinologist who specializes in neuroendocrinology and childhood obesity; Gary Taubes, author of 2011 book "Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It" and 2007 book "Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health;" and Dr. Janet Wojcicki, an associate adjunct professor at the UCSF School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics (and Esther Wojcicki's daughter).

A Q&A session with the panelists will follow.

The Institute for Responsible Nutrition’s "mission is to educate parents and children on clean eating and to promote greater health," an event description reads. "With this in mind and a new school year just around the corner, now is a great time to learn with your child what is the cause of conditions like diabetes, obesity and sugar addiction and how these can be avoided by eating a diet full of fresh foods."

The Institute for Responsible Nutrition advocates a 10-day "real food challenge" that asks people to eat whole or minimally processed foods and drink water instead of sweetened beverages or juices. The challenge points to a study led by Lustig that found removing fructose (from added sugar) from one's diet for 10 days reduced liver fat by nearly 30 percent.

The free event will be held, 5-9:30 p.m., at 50 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto. For more information and to register, go to


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