Take the fight out of food!
Every March, dietitians across Canada reach out to the public and host events to mark Nutrition Month. This year’s Nutrition Month theme is ‘Take the Fight Out of Food!’ The campaign is dedicated to supporting Canadians in ending their struggles with food by providing information and guidance to make it a little easier to sort out common issues related to food, nutrition and health. The campaign focuses on three ways in which we can improve our health:
1. Spot the problem: Define what’s causing your fight with food first.
2. Get the facts: Use facts from credible sources to decide what needs to be done to solve the problem.
3. Seek support: Put the plan into action with support from a dietitian, family, and friends.
Mount Professor Dr. Patty Williams, who is also Director of FoodARC (a research Centre at the Mount committed to research and action to build food security), reminds dietitians advocating for good health and nutrition of the importance of acknowledging how Canadians struggle with food for many different reasons. “For some people, information and guidance will help to sort out common food, nutrition and health issues,” she said. “For other people, their struggles with food are related to simply not having enough income to meet food needs after paying for other fixed and essential costs of living.”
As highlighted in a recent FoodARC report, one in five Nova Scotia households experiences food insecurity or worries about running out of food due to inadequate income.
This Nutrition Month, Dr. Williams advocates for dietitians to ‘Take the Fight out of Food’ by recognizing food insecurity as a significant and serious problem faced by many Canadians being served by dietitians. She also calls for dietitians to “provide much needed advocacy to address the structural barriers to healthy eating that lie beyond the control of individuals.”
Nova Scotia Nutrition Month representative and part-time faculty member in the Applied Human Nutrition Department Jennifer Guy, RD says, “Nutrition Month serves as a platform to promote the evidence-based information that informs the field of nutrition and dietetics. As well, having a theme each year establishes a fun, yet focused approach to building awareness about the roles both food and nutrition play in building healthy people and communities.”
In addition to reflection, people can engage in Nutrition Month events and learn how to develop and apply an individualized food and nutrition plan to attempt to reach their optimal health and wellness.
Led by Jennifer Guy, nutrition students at the Mount are endorsing this year’s Nutrition Month theme in a variety of ways. On March 7, students hosted an interactive booth at the Mount Health Expo, which featured free recipes booklets, a photo booth with props, nutrition information and a prize draw for a nutrition month bag, cook book and healthy snacks.
During the Health Expo, second year Applied Human Nutrition student Ksenia Kholina took video footage of students talking about their favourite foods, where they’re from and why they chose to study at the Mount. According to Ksenia, “The main goal for Nutrition Month promotion was to build a positive vibe around the topic among students. Our team (Shimaa, Huanyue and myself) worked together and created a video and a series of posters that show diversity, positivity and the great atmosphere that we have in our program.” Ksenia also intends to create collage of photos she has taken of students as well as their feedback related to this year’s Nutrition Month theme.
Stay tuned for upcoming Mount events planned for the remainder of Nutrition Month, such as a trivia event to be held in conjunction with a movie night. The combined trivia/movie night will be held on campus on March 30 at 5 p.m. (location TBC – stay tuned for details) and will feature the 2014 documentary “Bite Size” about childhood obesity and the struggle to regain health. Come test your nutrition knowledge with a few rounds of trivia for the chance to win prize bags!
Pictured above: On March 3, members of the Mount Student Nutrition Month Committee took the pledge to ‘Take the Fight out of Food!’ Pictured back row (l-r): Jessica MacNeil, Rachel Hilts, Sandra Fraser, Yingying Xu, Huanyue Wang, Shuyue Cao. Front Row (l-r): Yue Li, Ksenia Kholina, Wenxi Zhu and Jiamin Gong. For more information on how you can take the pledge visit www.nutritionmonth2017.ca.