Many Americans like to set New Year’s resolutions to make positive lifestyle changes such as improving their diet and going to the gym. However, March is also a great time for a healthy focus, especially as the long winter season comes to an end. National Nutrition Month, sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, is celebrated each year in March. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the annual nutrition education and information campaign, and the theme is “Fuel for the Future.” The campaign focuses on helping people make informed food choices and develop sustainable eating and physical activity habits. Keep reading to learn about the importance of nutrition for your overall health as well as certain gastrointestinal conditions at DHC.
History of National Nutrition Month
In March of 1973, National Nutrition Week was introduced by a presidential proclamation from Richard Nixon. It started as a way to educate the public on nutrition and promote the profession of dietetics. In response to growing interest, it became a month-long observance in 1980. Federal and state governments and the American Dietetic Association (now known as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) quickly embraced the initiative. Between 1977 and 1980, the character Nutribird was featured on promotional items used at special events in schools, healthcare facilities, and community centers to deliver healthy eating messages to adults and children.
In the 1990s, the focus shifted to more effective messaging to consumers and awareness of consumer trends. Although most people recognized the importance of good nutrition and health, they were confused about how to incorporate their knowledge into everyday practices. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans became the general public’s standard for healthy eating recommendations, and new guidelines are issued every five years.
National Nutrition Month 2023: Fuel for the Future
This year’s theme, “Fuel for the Future,” highlights the importance of fueling our bodies at every age and eating with the environment in mind. The Academy has provided helpful eating tips to follow during March and all year long:
- Eat with the environment in mind. Enjoy more plant-based meals and snacks, purchase foods with minimal packaging, buy foods in season and shop locally whenever possible, and start a container or backyard garden to grow food at home.
- See a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). Ask your healthcare provider for a referral to an RDN who specializes in your unique needs, learn how your nutritional needs may change over time, and seek personalized recommendations to meet your health goals.
- Stay nourished and save money. Plan out your meals and snacks, take inventory at home before buying more food, use a grocery list and shop sales, and learn about community resources such as SNAP, WIC, and local food banks.
- Eat a variety of foods from all food groups. Include your favorite cultural foods and traditions in your meals, eat foods in various forms whether fresh, frozen, canned, or dried, avoid fad diets that encourage unnecessary restrictions, and give your body the fuel it needs.
- Make tasty foods at home. Learn cooking and meal preparation techniques, try new flavors and foods from around the world, find creative ways to use leftovers instead of tossing them, and eat with friends and family as often as possible.
How Does Good Nutrition Affect Your Digestive Health?
Following a satisfying, tasty, and well-balanced diet is a goal that many people strive for but is not always easy to achieve. When people follow specific diets, they risk having gaps in their overall nutrition. This can lead to several health concerns and chronic diseases. At DHC, we provide comprehensive care and treatment for patients with various gastrointestinal issues, including but not limited to GERD, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and inflammatory bowel disease. We understand that a one-size-fits-all nutrition plan never works, and every time you choose a meal or snack, your plate should be personalized. National Nutrition Month is a great opportunity to make changes to your diet that will benefit your nutrition goals and ensure optimal digestive health. Our team of gastroenterologists is here to help you get on the right track!
Leading Gastrointestinal Care at DHC in New Jersey
The success of your nutrition journey starts at Digestive Healthcare Center in New Jersey. Our highly skilled gastroenterologists proudly work with patients of all ages to promote and maintain positive digestive health. We manage a wide range of gastrointestinal conditions and offer minimally invasive procedures using state-of-the-art technology and techniques. To learn more about our services or meet with a member of our team, please schedule an appointment at one of our offices in NJ today!