Weight of the Nation…a basis for Community Nutrition

I have never kept a blog before, and since this is my first post  bear with me while I venture onto this new aspect of the social media scene! I hope that this blog helps individuals who are curious about health, nutrition, and the current and hot issues in the dietetics field.

This has been the first two days of my Dietetic Internship (!!) and over the next few weeks I am partaking in a Community Nutrition rotation through The Shack and WVU.  Many individuals may be unsure as to what exactly a community dietitian does (as I once was), and I think the best way to explain the basis for this career path is to watch the HBO special, “Weight of the Nation“.  This four-part documentary focuses on America’s obesity epidemic is based on sound scientific research through the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  The obesity epidemic is a very serious and complex problem that I think it is explained very concisely in this obesity infographic.  Through this research and further knowledge, the IOM published recommendations as to how to prevent obesity.  The recommendations are very specific and in-depth, but there are five main points in the prevention of obesity:

  • Integrate physical activity every day in every way
  • Market what matters for a healthy life
  • Make healthy foods and beverages available everywhere
  • Activate employers and health care professionals
  • Strengthen schools as the heart of health

So now that we have all these recommendations, what can WE do to solve the problem? That is where dietitians and other members of the community come in.  Earlier today I attended a meeting for the “Choose to Change” project that is federally funded for obesity prevention in Monongalia and Kanawha counties in West Virginia.  The meeting focused on ways to create a healthier community in both counties.  Professionals from various sectors attended the meeting including WVU professors and interns, WIC dietitians, Mon County school representatives, farmer’s markets directors, public health students, personal trainers, chefs, and exercise scientists. This type of collaboration amongst many different fields and individuals is key to creating a healthier atmosphere and attacking the obesity epidemic from every angle.


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