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National Nutrition Month® Turns 40!

Feb 27, 12:21 PM

Food and Fitness Fundamentals

This year commemorates the 40th anniversary of National Nutrition Month®! This campaign was originally established by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (A.N.D), formerly known as the American Dietetic Association, and is the world’s largest organization for food and nutrition professionals. This is the time of year when the Academy publicly acknowledges registered dietitians (RD) as the food and nutrition experts, and celebrates their significant contribution in educating Americans to eat healthy and be active. In 1973 this campaign began as a weeklong event, known as National Nutrition Week. Due to its popularity and public interest, it later transformed into National Nutrition Month®. In addition, March 13, 2013, marks the sixth anniversary of what is declared Registered Dietitian Day.

The A.N.D has deemed this year’s theme as “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day”. The Academy’s mission is for registered dietitians and dietetic technicians to go beyond their normal routine and have a very strong, pronounced presence while educating Americans on how to return to the basics of healthy eating. This year’s primary focus is to concentrate on overall eating patterns and average daily intakes of food and beverages from all ethnic cuisines, verses one food or meal. Being physically active and having an established exercise routine is also encouraged in order to aid in overall health as well as to accomplish or maintain desired weight goals.

Registered Dietitians are the food and nutrition experts! It is crucial to know that anyone can call themselves a nutritionist; however, it is only the RD that has extensive educational and professional training not only in food and nutrition, but also in translating science based knowledge and research to Americans in a way that is understandable and applicable to daily living. Becoming a registered dietitian requires dedication and discipline. RD’s are required to comply with very strict academic and professional guidelines from both the A.N.D and the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE). Education includes a bachelors degree; however, more than half of all RDs hold a masters degree or higher. After college is an internship, typically 6-12 months, which is followed by the passing of the national registration board exam. In order to maintain the registration credential, RD’s must conform with ongoing professional continuing education requirements that help ensure they remain current and up to date with food and nutrition research, recommendations and guidelines.

So the next time you want to decipher fact from fiction when it comes to food and nutrition, make sure you go to a trusted nutrition expert: a registered dietitian. And remember to Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day!

For more information on how RD’s can be of help to you, click here (10 reasons to visit an RD) or access the “Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website”:(, a phenomenal resource of solid science based nutrition information.

Until next time, here’s to healthy eating!

Lori Dodds, RD, LD, is a Registered Dietitian at The Corvallis Clinic Nutrition Services Department.

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