March: National Nutrition Month
By Suzanne Lazar ‘16, graduate student, SUNY Empire State College; editor, The Student Connection
August 17, 2017
As we ramp up for the SUNY Empire State College, 2018 Student Wellness Retreat in April, let’s get a head start by following some great tips during National Nutrition Month.
National Nutrition Month is an educational campaign focusing on the significance of physical fitness as well as eating nourishing meals. Taking control of your health contributes to overall wellbeing. Losing weight or maintaining your ideal weight, which reduces risks of illness such as heart disease and diabetes, is also important in managing a long-term healthy lifestyle.
The campaign which was originally named “National Nutrition Week,” was first launched in 1973. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (ADA) wanted to get the word out to the public and began advocating healthy living by organizing educational events held in schools and health care centers.
The campaign became so popular, that by the beginning of 1980, the House of Delegates expanded the campaign from a week, to an entire month.
The ADA has more than 70,000 members and is the world’s largest organization of registered dietician nutritionists and dietetic technicians. Each year the ADA has a different theme during National Nutrition Month. This year’s theme is “Go Further with Food,” which focuses on adopting healthier eating styles.
The United States Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy & Promotion (CNPP) has a variety of projects and initiatives that promote health and wellness. CNPP strives to promote dietary guidance for all Americans, and continuously do research and analysis about nutrition and consumer economics.
One of their core projects is Choose My Plate which offers many resources and tools to help focus on healthy eating – how much food is the right amount, what foods are the right foods for you, and the importance of understanding the nutritional value of food.
Choose My Plate has a diverse audience of children, students, adults, families and professionals, online tools for tracking your health and exercise progress including checklists, preschool growth charts, and recipes, and encourages people who are interested in making healthy lifestyle changes, to start with small steps.
When you sign up for the 2018 Student Wellness Retreat, before you look at the workshop topics and activities that will be offered over the course of the conference, think about what kind of changes you’d like to make that could improve your own health and wellness, and make a short list. When you look at the schedule of concurrent sessions, pick at least one that applies to what’s on your list. And when you visit the different vendors at the health fair, make sure to spend some time talking to the professional(s) at one of the booths, and find out how you can start making small changes for a healthier you.
Registration is currently open for the 2018 Student Wellness Retreat, April 5-7 at The Desmond in Albany, New York. This year boasts an amazing line up of speakers, wellness workshops, entertainment, and more so don’t miss out!!