The Origins of National Nutrition Month

The Origins of National Nutrition Month

Many of you may not know this, but March is National Nutrition Month. Dietitians and health professionals around the country celebrate healthy lifestyles and nutrition education for the month of March with special events, promotional items, blogs, radio ads, and more! Stay tuned to learn more about how National Nutrition Month came to be…

History of National Nutrition Month

First celebrated in March 1973 for only one week, it was created as a way to deliver nutrition education to the public while promoting the profession of dietetics. As the public interest in nutrition began to grow, the celebration was expanded into a month-long observance. Some of the messages conveyed throughout the 70s and 80s included the focus on making informed food choices while developing strong eating and exercise habits.

In 1977, the American Dietetic Association introduced their mascot – Nutribird. Nutribird had a body shaped like a head of lettuce with a carrot beak and was featured on promotional items. These items were used at special events in schools, healthcare facilities, and community centers. Some dietitians even dressed up in Nutribird costumes to deliver healthy eating messages to adults and children. Nutribird was eventually laid to rest in the 1980s as some thought it was too frivolous for the dietetic profession.

American Dietetics Association Nutribird

In the 90s, the focus became more effective messaging to consumers and awareness of consumer trends. It became apparent that most consumers recognized the importance of good nutrition and health, but were confused and uncertain about how to incorporate their knowledge into a healthy lifestyle. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans were created as healthy eating recommendations for the general public. New guidelines are now released every 5 years.

Each year, the American Dietetic Association chooses a theme for National Nutrition Month. Past themes include: Go Further With Food, Put Your Best Fork Forward, and Savor the Flavor of Eating Right. This year’s theme is Eat Right, Feel Right, Live Right. All promotional materials, education and outreach coordinates with the year’s theme.

Now that you know a little more about National Nutrition Month, how do you plan on celebrating? Tell us in the comments below!

Nutrition Education at Elite Sports Clubs

In the spirit of nutrition education, you can read our nutrition blogs. If you’d like a more personal touch, feel free to set up a free nutrition consultation with our nutrition coaches to help you make more informed decisions on what you eat!

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Written by Sarah Brunner, RDN, CD; former Elite Sports Clubs Registered Dietitian

Sarah is certified in food allergies/intolerances and nutritional counseling, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; has a certificate in Dietetics from Mount Mary University; and a BA in Education and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.

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