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Celebrate healthy living enjoy the taste of eating right

3/12/2014, 11:44 a.m.

By Angie Hasemann

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month?

What exactly is National Nutrition Month®? Launched in 1973, it is a national education and information campaign promoted 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.

As President of the Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and on behalf of the 2100 Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RD/RDN) in Virginia, I would like to wish the citizens of the Commonwealth a happy National Nutrition Month!

This year we celebrate with the slogan, Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.

National Nutrition Month, and its goal of eating healthy, is a great time to seek the expertise of an RDN for accurate nutrition information. RDNs are the food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living at any stage of life. Registered dietitian nutritionists have degrees in nutrition, dietetics, public health or a related field from accredited colleges and universities, including many universities right here in Virginia. They also complete an internship, pass a national registration examination, and complete required continuing education. As health professionals, RDNs deal with a myriad of issues affecting the health of many of us. These issues include food allergies, weight management, diabetes, kidney disease, eating disorders, and heart disease.

Remember, not all nutritionists are dietitians, but all dietitians are nutritionists. The RDN credential is your way of knowing that your source of nutrition information is accurate and up-to-date.

Throughout the Commonwealth, RDNs work in hospitals, schools, public health clinics, nursing homes, fitness centers, food management, food industry, universities, research, and private practice to make a difference and help people make individualized, positive lifestyle changes. RDNs are involved in agriculture interests and public policy related to food and nutrition. One example of involvement is the current plan to revise the food label to make them more user friendly for us all.

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, celebrated Wednesday, March 12th this year, increases awareness of registered dietitian nutritionists as the indispensable providers of food and nutrition

services and recognizes RDNs for their commitment to helping people enjoy healthy lives. If you know an RDN, or if an RDN has helped to make a difference in your life, be sure to give him or her a shout out of appreciation this month!

Founded in 1929, the Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (VAND, and formerly the Virginia Dietetic Association) is a professional, not-for-profit organization of food and nutrition experts affiliated with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

VAND supports the pairing of good nutrition with tasty food in promoting lifelong eating habits to bring enjoyment and wellness to our tables and lives. VAND also speaks for sound health and nutrition policy in the halls of state and local government.

Now that you know that March is National Nutrition Month, celebrate it with us by eating healthy, delicious foods that serve to enhance your quality of life.