Health and Family Services Cabinet
March is National Nutrition Month
Public Health Works to Promote Healthy Eating
As part of National Nutrition Month, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is working to raise awareness about the importance of a healthy, well-balanced diet in maintaining long-term health and wellness. In addition, DPH is working to recognize the contributions of nutrition and dietary professionals on March 11, which is recognized as National Nutrition Health Professionals Day.
Developed by the American Dietetic Association, National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign recognized annually in March. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
“If we want to live long, active lives, we have to maintain a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients,” said Ruth Shepherd, M.D., director of the division of maternal and child health in DPH. “During National Nutrition Month, I hope more people will take time to educate themselves about the importance of nutrition and start making healthy changes, like eating five servings of fruits and vegetables every day, to their lives.”
A healthy diet, along with regular physical activity and avoiding the use of tobacco products, is an important first step in preventing chronic conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer. To help improve the public’s knowledge, eating habits and access to healthy foods, DPH employs numerous nutrition and dietary professionals. They include:
− Nutritionists, who work with the special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC) and provide group nutrition in both clinic and community settings.
− Certified nutritionists and registered dietitians provide the same services as nutritionists, as well as individualized diet counseling called medical nutrition therapy (MNT). The MNT services can also be provided in a group setting in the health department clinic.
− Registered dietitians provide the same services as nutritionists and all the MNT services.
“Our nutrition health professionals are dedicated to advancing the nutritional status and health of Kentuckians by translating the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living,” said Shepherd.
For more information about nutrition services offered by DPH or to learn more about healthy eating, visit http://www.chfs.ky.gov/dph/mch/ns/.