Believe it or not, March has already arrived and with the arrival of this month comes National Nutrition Month! Dietitians around the globe are all familiar with this campaign; however allow me to provide a brief explanation for those of you who are just hearing about this for the first time. National Nutrition Month® (NNM) is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.(1)
NNM has a new theme each year in order to focus on specific nutrition and physical activity messages. The theme for 2015 is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle”, which encourages everyone to adopt eating and physical activity plans that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.(2)
Although, optimal nutrition is important all year round, Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) dedicate even more time to educating individuals on the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle during this month. RDNs are the food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. They are especially helpful members of the healthcare team for families managing food allergies, for whom healthy eating takes on a different meaning. RDNs are advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world.(3) March 11, 2015 has been declared ‘Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day’! Please make sure to thank your RDN for her/his commitment to helping you live a healthier life!
In honor of NNM, here are some fun nutrition facts created by the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital:
- Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh as the freezing process locks in the nutrients.
- The average 16 fl oz soda contains 29 sugar cubes and no vitamins or minerals.
- Individuals who eat from smaller plates tend to eat smaller portions.
- Blueberries are one of the only foods found in nature that are truly blue in color.
- Bright, warm colors can stimulate hunger, which is why many fast food restaurants use red, yellow, and orange colors for logos and packaging.
Happy National Nutrition Month®! What activities do you have planned to recognize this campaign?
-Kendra Valle, RDN, LDN