Happy RD Day!

Happy Registered Dietitian (RD) Day!!

March 13th celebrates Registered Dietitian Day! This celebration occurs every year during National Nutrition Month, which is March. RDs are the public’s go-to healthcare professionals when they need reliable nutrition information, in this field. RDs pull from their experience to create a personalized nutrition plan for people of every age. These are the professionals that are able to separate facts from fads and translate nutritional science into information you, the consumer/client/patient, can use!

Dietitians can improve the health of Americans and save money through healthcare costs. Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) provided by RDs is critical in preventing the top 3 chronic illnesses. It is well documented that MNT is associated with a decrease in utilization of hospital services of 9.5% for patients with diabetes and 8.6% for patients with cardiovascular disease. Also noteworthy is that participation in community-based programs that focused on improving nutrition and increasing physical activity had a 58% decrease in incidence of Type 2 Diabetes.

Registered Dietitians assist to promote a net decrease in healthcare utilization and costs for most people. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation estimates that in Idaho, for every $1 spent in wellness programs, companies could save $3.27 in medical costs and $2.73 in absenteeism costs. Some interventions have been shown to help improve nutrition and activity habits in just 1 year and had a return of $1.17 for every $1 spent. Reducing the average BMI in the state of Idaho by 5% could lead to health care savings of more than $1 billion in 10 years and $3 billion in 20 years.

Well, unfortunately Wild and Wonderful West Virginia isn’t as lucky as ole Idaho. West Virginia still leads the nation in obesity, and was recently named the state with the highest number of overweight residents in the union. According to the 2012 Gallup-Healthways Well-being Index released last week, 33.5% of West Virginia’s population is considered obese.

Mississippi is the closest with an obesity rate of 32.2%. Arkansas has a rate of 31.4%, Louisiana is 30.9% and Alabama is listed at 30.4%, to round out the top five.

Residents of the Mountain State believe that a reason for the high obesity rate is the change in physical jobs and increase in availability of fast food. The combination of lack of physical activity and the ready access of fast food and junk food in homes has really contributed to the epidemic. On the flip side of our state, nutrition-related efforts seem to be working as West Virginia is no longer in the top five for childhood obesity!

With the help from schools and communities, West Virginia is increasing physical activity and need for healthier foods. As a unit we are advocating and promoting activity and nutrition. I think it seems to be helping! All thanks to those RDs out there!!!

Job outlook: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nutrition and Dietetics careers are expected to increase much faster (by 20%) than other jobs by 2020 and faster than many other industries within health care. In 2010, the median annual salary for RDs was $53,250, at $23.60 an hour. And the number of jobs available in the nutrition and dietetics field was 64,400.

Money Bags

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Fat West Virginia

Nutrition in the Community

RD Day 2013

RD Day

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Community Wellness Action Team Meeting

Undergraduate Action Team Meeting

Well, let’s see… As the Community Wellness ISPP (Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway) Dietetic Intern, it’s my responsibility to get my Action Team in the community and promoting nutrition education and overall healthy thinking and decision-making by Morgantown’s population. So, for this meeting that took place on Monday February 11th at 5:30pm on WVU’s Evansdale campus, we had a mapped out plan of what we needed to address and where we need to go, in terms of community wellness.

WV Action For Healthy Kids (AFHK) Undergraduate intern:

The Shack Neighborhood House Undergraduate Intern:

  • We’ve decided that most of our projects/presentations that we work on in our group, we will work as a team. I made this very clear at the very first meeting. I want to make sure everyone is involved with everything. That being said, an after-school nutrition education program was assigned to this Undergrad intern. Thankfully, the intern has help from our Community Wellness Action Team. So, I already had the thought in my mind that I wanted an after-school program based on something similar to a Rachel Ray show where she travels around the country. I wanted to implement a program where children at the Shack Neighborhood House can get the opportunity at becoming exposed to different regions of the country and still have that nutrition component as well. So, we created a program called “Our Healthy Roadtrip”. This program will last 6 weeks long and be held every Monday from 4:15pm-5:15pm. Our start date is March 4th and we’ll need a minimum of 2 volunteers for every lesson. Each lesson will consist of a nutrition education component, a section on exposure to that specific region’s food habits, and then a snack and interactive activity for the students.
  • Another project is organizing the Oxfam Hunger Banquet, that the Undergrad intern has named Mountaineering Against Hunger. Right now the beginning process is in effect where committees are filling up. Then, once these 3 committees are fulfilled, then further actions like venue planning and food donations can take place.
  • Other projects and events that our Action Team is in the process of organizing is Father’s HAND, Cross-Country Casserole Club, and Family Fun Night.

The Children’s Discovery Museum of West Virginia Undergraduate Intern

  • All of the events for the CDMWV for the semester are, for the most part, set in stone and already organized. It is this intern’s responsibility to complete these tasks and delegate any other duties needed. This Undergrad intern is working with another Graduate student on developing a program called “Healthy Passport”.
  • I also assigned this intern to develop a timeline of all events that take place at the CDMWV throughout the entire semester. This way, we can organize, and possibly even collaborate with another organization, other events and programming within the Morgantown, WV area.

As a Community Wellness Action Team I have decided that we will have our own National Nutrition Month campaign. National Nutrition Month is celebrated throughout the entire month of March and this year’s theme is “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day”. Specifically, March 13th is National Registered Dietitian (RD) Day.

Sooo…… I think I somewhat caught my team off guard by telling them my idea. I want us to use guerrilla marketing with National Nutrition Month and utilize the Student Dietetic Association to do so. My plan is to recruit HN&F students to draw USDA’s MyPlates ALL over the Morgantown area, specifically on all 3 campuses, in different colored sidewalk chalk. And I plan on having people doing so on a daily basis, in case weather prevents us from our guerrilla nutrition parade. Then, on March 19th, the Student Dietetic Association will have a table outside of the Mountainlair on the downtown campus and have a GIANT MyPlate drawing in front of our table on the ground. At our table we’ll have lot of fun interactive nutrition activities, handouts, healthy recipes, healthy snacks, and food guide pyramids from all over the world, including USDA’s MyPlate- of course. I think this will be a really innovative and unique approach at National Nutrition Month (NNM)  and promoting health awareness on a large scale.

USDA MyPlate Food Guide

USDA MyPlate Food Guide

One of the intern's assigned projects

One of the intern’s assigned projects

The Shack Neighborhood House. A primary stakeholder within our program!

The Shack Neighborhood House. A primary stakeholder within our program!

WV AFHK is a stakeholder within our ISPP Dietetic Internship

WV AFHK is a stakeholder within our ISPP Dietetic Internship

The Children's Discovery Museum of WV collaborates with our program for special eventing and nutrition programming on several different levels.

The Children’s Discovery Museum of WV collaborates with our program for special eventing and nutrition programming on several different levels.

This year's NNM theme for 2013

This year’s NNM theme for 2013

 

 

 

 

Connecting Undergrads with Grad Students

Undergraduates are Important too

Last Monday, midway through my mini kitchen audit, I attended the WVU Student Dietetic Association meeting.  This on-campus organization consists mainly of WVU undergraduate students in the “Human Nutrition & Foods” or “Bachelor’s in Agriculture with an Emphasis in Nutrition” degrees. I attend these meetings to offer service learning opportunities to the undergraduate students and to keep a “connection” between undergraduates and graduate students. The SDA members usually ask me questions and advice on events, policies, and projects that they are currently working on.

Last week’s meeting entailed:

  • National Nutrition Month ideas and projects
  • Relay For Life
  • Snack boxes to be made by SDA for troops in Afghanistan
  • Valentine’s Day gift bags for the Rosenbaum House
  • School of Pharmacy Dinner at the WV Family Grief Center
  • Happy School programming at the Shack Neighborhood House