At Least 3 Reasons to Play with the Kids This Fall

Posted by Judith Jarvis, MS, RDN @ 2:36 PM


Playing outside together is one of the best family activities there is – especially in the fall. It sounds idyllic – playing touch football in the backyard with mom, dad, brothers and sisters; raking leaves as a family and jumping in them (then bagging them); riding bikes through the neighborhood or in a forest preserve, doing a 5K walk/run together.

As health and wellness professionals, you can encourage families you counsel to bring play home this fall. In addition to burning calories, relieving stress, improving relationships, and making memories, playing together as a family can help promote health for children and adults alike.


Here are at least three reasons why kids should be encouraged to play and why the adults in their life should play with them:

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Embracing Powerful Partnerships

Posted by Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, LDN @ 3:09 PM


When it comes to championing change and helping empower people to make better choices to improve their health, public-private partnerships are critical. What makes them so powerful is the chance for people to come together because they share a common goal, even if at first blush, seem to be unlikely collaborators. At this year’s Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE), we were thrilled to share the stage with Dr. David Satcher, the 16th U.S. Surgeon General to talk about this very thing. Dr. Satcher shared an inspiring story highlighting just how powerful collaboration can be from his time as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“You might remember the eradication of polio,” said Dr. Satcher. “Out of a shared commitment with Rotary International came one of the most striking public-private partnerships in history. Fifty-seven thousand employees of Rotary showed up in the streets of India to help get children immunized. The business community can help bring tremendous resources to the table to make a difference.”

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A different, but equally important partnership started 13 years ago when Dr. Satcher released the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity, the first among many reports to recommend engagement in public-private partnerships to improve child health. National Dairy Council began working with Dr. Satcher and many others from the nutrition, health, education, business, government and NGO sectors to find solutions to improve the future of our youth — which resulted in the formation of Action for Healthy Kids, Fuel Up to Play 60 and the GENYOUth Foundation. Read the rest of this entry »

Connecting the Dots: Reducing the Burden of Type 2 Diabetes and Kidney Disease

Posted by Judith Jarvis, MS, RDN @ 1:32 PM


I just attended an educational session at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Exhibition (FNCE) in Atlanta that was all about connections. There are indirect connections between prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and its primary risk factors, which are type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) can also make new connections as they embrace new roles and responsibilities available for helping people manage these conditions.

Desmond Williams, MD, PhD, CKD Initiative Team Lead at the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), gave an overview of the burden of CKD, its risk factors, and how activities for CKD  are coordinated to provide a unified nationwide response. The National Chronic Kidney Disease Fact Sheet, 2014 for the public and the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014 for health professionals are available from the CDC.

We learned:

  • The CDC estimates that more than 10 percent of adults in the United States – more than 20 million people – may have CKD.
  • Over the last 10 years prevalence of CKD has increased dramatically, so prevention is key.
  • Hypertension and diabetes account for 70 percent of CKD cases.

Since 2001 there has been a reduction in new cases of ESRD and death.  The message was clear that managing blood sugar levels and blood pressure goes a long way in preventing CKD in the first place and helps slow its progression to end-stage renal disease, dialysis, transplant or death. Thankfully, progress has been made in reaching Healthy People 2020 goals related to diabetes and chronic kidney disease as this report shows. Read the rest of this entry »

Fueling Up for the Long Run: My Nutrition Plan for Ultra-Marathon Training

Posted by Stephanie Cundith, MS, RD, LD @ 7:29 AM


A lot has happened since I wrote my last post on race training in January 2013.  I completed my third 50K as well as marathons number seven, eight and nine; and I signed up for my first 50-mile race, which is now less than a month away; and I’ve fine-tuned my nutrition plan for training as my mileage increases.

After three positive 50K experiences, it made sense for me to tackle 50 miles, which is the next distance in the ultra-marathon world (an ultra is any distance beyond the 26.2-mile marathon distance). Training for a longer distance race means increasing weekly mileage (my average is 60+). It also means incorporating more back-to-back long runs on the weekends (for example, 24 miles on Saturday, 18 on Sunday) to become accustomed to running on “tired legs”  and learning how to drink adequate fluids and get enough calories while running so hydration and energy stores are maintained.

Given my nutrition background, I have a good knowledge base to work from, but for the most part, figuring out how to fuel up before a run has been a process of trial and error. Here are strategies that work for me, and could be useful for sharing with your active clients. Read the rest of this entry »

Beyond Fat: Understanding the Role of Individual Fatty Acids, While Still Talking About Whole Foods

Posted by Judith Jarvis, MS, RDN @ 5:19 PM


I always love attending the Food and Nutrition Conference and Exhibition (FNCE), especially the scientific sessions, where health and wellness experts share the latest cutting edge research and how to apply it. My wheels are turning after attending the session, Beyond Fat: The Influence of Individual Fatty Acids on Health. The speakers are co-authors of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Position Paper on Dietary Fatty Acids for Healthy Adults, released in January 2014. The position statement helps Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) explain to the public that a food-based, total diet approach is probably more beneficial than reducing total fat and replacing it with simple carbohydrates. As the science behind the new position shows, we can no longer view fats as just saturated and unsaturated, because individual fatty acids within these categories have different impacts on health.

The Academy has taken a prudent approach to the position statement, acknowledging that the scientific evidence about the effects of dietary fats on human health is still young.

Speaker Gretchen Vannice, MS, RDN, summed up the theme of the session for me: “fat is your friend, not your foe – choose your friends wisely.”
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Choosing a Meal Plan to Promote Health

Posted by Gregory Miller, PhD, FACN @ 7:00 AM


Dietary patterns, whole foods, and a total diet versus single nutrient approach to nutrition was a key theme that emerged from a symposium at the American Society for Nutrition Annual Meeting held in conjunction with Experimental Biology 2014 this spring. The Dietary Guidelines provides examples of several dietary patterns that foster healthy eating. When choosing a meal plan for your clients, how do you decide which meal plan to choose — the USDA Food Patterns and their vegetarian variations; the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan, based on the DASH research studies, developed to help reduce blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors; or the traditional Mediterranean-style eating patterns (from Greece or Spain)? The Mediterranean diet, for example has been gaining attention.

Publication of the PREDIMED (Prevention with the Mediterranean Diet) multicenter randomized trial by researchers in Spain last spring, raised awareness in the health professional community and the general public that the Mediterranean dietary pattern might help lower cardiovascular disease risk. Read the rest of this entry »

Get in the Game with National School Lunch Week

Posted by Camellia Patey @ 7:14 AM


At one of my first school nutrition meetings I heard an experienced school nutrition professional say, “We know that for some of our students school lunch on Friday could be the last real meal they are able to have until they get back to school on Monday.” This quickly puts into focus how significant school meals can be to a child and their family. Since that conversation, when I think about National School Lunch Week (NSLW), October 13th-17th, 2014, I view it not only as an opportunity to help engage all students in healthier eating, but also to raise awareness on how providing at-risk children with nutrient-rich meals at lunch also helps to address hunger.

sna-logo-colorSCOREBOARD-300dpiThis year, National School Lunch Week(NSLW) occurs just a few weeks after the release of the Hunger in America 2014 Report by Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief charity in the United States, and it shows how huge the need to address hunger is in the United States. The Feeding America Network, a nationwide network of 200 member food banks, serves more than 46.5 million people annually who rely on their local food bank or pantry to help feed their families, including 12 million children. Read the rest of this entry »

Are you Attending FNCE 2014? Don’t Miss These Opportunities to Connect with Us

Posted by Tab Forgac @ 7:44 AM


Some of you may have seen some of these highlights from Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, LDN, President of National Dairy Council, but I wanted to make sure that all of The Dairy Report readers were informed of all the exciting things happening at the Academy’s Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) this year!

The health and well-being of Americans is not only crucial to long-term health, but also to America’s future.  More Americans are dealing with issues related to food insecurity, namely hunger, which can impact their health.  An especially vulnerable population affected by hunger are our nation’s children — one in five households with children in America is food insecure.

For almost 100 years, National Dairy Council (NDC) has been committed to providing sound science, improving child health and serving as a resource for health and wellness professionals, parents and school stakeholders. NDC helps ensure that Americans do not face hunger, are well nourished and get enough physical activity as part of the equation to their well-being. Additionally, NDC helps connect Americans to where dairy foods come from, including how they can be part of a sustainable lifestyle — good for people, communities and the planet. Read the rest of this entry »

Take a Break from the Sodium Debate and Champion a Total Diet Approach for Blood Pressure Control

Posted by Gregory Miller, PhD, FACN @ 7:56 AM


The on-going debate among scientists and health experts about how much sodium is consistent with good health continues. Of note is the publication of three articles in the New England Journal of Medicine last month that helped fuel the debate.

Contributing to the ongoing conversation was one paper from a large multi-national study (Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology [PURE]) that found an estimated sodium intake between 3 and 6 grams/day was associated with a lower risk of death and cardiovascular events – while both higher (>7 grams/day) and lower (<3 grams/day) estimated sodium intakes were associated with greater risks. Due to the uncertainty raised about the cardiovascular health effects of a low sodium diet, the authors say more clinical trials are likely needed.  Read the rest of this entry »

New NDC Site Aims to Help People #EatConfidently with Lactose Intolerance

Posted by Karen Kafer, RDN @ 8:07 AM


There’s a lot of confusion around lactose intolerance. Some people mistake digestive issues with a milk allergy, while others consider themselves to be lactose intolerant. Too often, people think they need to cut dairy products out of their lives entirely. In fact, roughly 1 in 10 people think they’re lactose intolerant, and that’s through self-diagnosis. As a result, many people are missing out on the nutritional and taste benefits of their favorite dairy foods – but they don’t have to.

National Dairy Council (NDC) has launched a new lactose intolerance website,, where people can find helpful information, resources, recipes and more to make educated decisions about their condition. By creating a user-friendly online destination about lactose intolerance, NDC can provide the tools and resources necessary to help people understand how dairy foods (milk, cheese and yogurt) can still be a part of a healthy lifestyle, suited specifically to their individual needs, whether they’re lactose intolerant or not.

The site houses sharable, educational content, including easy-to-understand articles, recipes, infographics, and videos and acts as a hub for social media conversations about lactose intolerance – all available via three easy-to-navigate sections of the site: Read the rest of this entry »