nutrition

Dietary Guidelines for Americans: The Basics and Key Takeaways from the Second Meeting

Dietary Guidelines for Americans: The Basics and Key Takeaways from the Second Meeting

 

On July 10th and 11th, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee met for their second public meeting in Washington, DC. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) are a set of guidelines published jointly by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). You’re probably wondering so why should the average consumer care about these guidelines? How in the world do these scientific recommendations affect me and my family? Well, quite a bit actually!

National Public Health Week: Healthy Communities

National Public Health Week: Healthy Communities

What is a healthy community? Is it one with bike lanes where you can safely travel to work and home? Is it one with fresh, healthy foods that are accessible to all the citizens? Is it one with safe, affordable housing, or one with clean drinking water? There is no one way to describe a healthy community, and the needs of a community may drive the health priorities that local leaders and citizens focus on. Did you know that the zip code in which we reside is a better predictor of our health than our genetic code? Because of this, public health professionals strive to improve the health of ALL communities so that no matter someone’s zip code, they have the same opportunity to live in a healthy environment as their neighbor who may live 5, 10, or even 20 miles down the road.  

In honor of National Public Health Week and today’s topic of healthy communities, I am highlighting a few communities and one state throughout the United States and the health initiatives and policies they have implemented to improve the health and safety of their community.

The FDA is Reforming their Role in Dietary Supplement Oversight.. Finally!

The FDA is Reforming their Role in Dietary Supplement Oversight.. Finally!

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it plans to overhaul regulations for the $50 billion a year dietary supplement industry. The FDA is planning much needed updates to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) which passed in 1994. Alongside this announcement, the FDA sent advisory and warning letters to supplement companies that were selling products with illegal claims or that contained unapproved drugs. Some companies that received the advisory and warning letters were claiming that their products prevented, treated or cured Alzheimer’s disease and a number of other serious diseases and health conditions. According to the press release, “three out of every four American consumers take a dietary supplement on a regular basis”. The overhaul of the 25-year-old Act is music to this public health dietitian’s ears!

Self-Care During the Holidays

Self-Care During the Holidays

The holidays- the time of year that is supposed to be full of joy, love, and time spent with friends and family. What we don’t talk or think about when it comes to the holidays are all the ways that we forget about self-care, and the stress that we put ourselves through. The past couple of years I have started really focusing on self-care this time of year and I want to share some of my recommendations for self-care with you.

Stay active this time of year. Exercise is one of the best ways to destress. It doesn’t have to be an hour-long gym workout or a group exercise class, it can be as simple as a 30-minute walk or a bike ride around the neighborhood. You’ll feel refreshed and reenergized!

Beyond the Headline: Does Eating Organic Really Reduce Your Cancer Risk?

Beyond the Headline: Does Eating Organic Really Reduce Your Cancer Risk?

The latest nutrition headline to catch on with the media is how eating organic can reduce your risk of developing cancer by 25%. So let’s unpack this- does eating organic REALLY reduce your risk of developing cancer?

Years of research between organic and conventional foods have shown that the nutritional value is similar. Purchasing organic is a personal preference just as purchasing conventional is. Often, organic items are not affordable for consumers so headlines like this may unnecessarily make shoppers who purchase conventional feel as though they are increasing their, and their families, cancer risk by not purchasing organic. No consumer should be shamed for purchasing fruits and vegetables for their families whether they are conventional or organic.