Position of the American Dietetic Association: Nutrition education for the public

L. Shafer, A. Gillespie, J. L. Wilkins, S. T. Borra, M. J. Hudnall, J. Kirby, C. O'Neil, A. L. Owen, N. Schwartz, J. W. Cohen, W. D. Evers, E. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

In keeping with the ADA's mission, which is to be 'the advocate of the dietetics professional serving the public through the promotion of optimal nutrition, health and well-being,' ADA supports nutrition education delivered by qualified dietetics professionals as essential for the public to achieve and maintain optimal nutritional health. Nutrition education serves as a foundation for achieving notable advances in the nutritional status of the public. To be effective in creating actual behavior change, nutrition education programs must be developed on the basis of the needs, behaviors, motivations, and desires of target audiences. A wide variety of strategies have been identified as effective in helping to increase awareness, enhance motivation, and foster and sustain behavior change. A multiple reinforcing strategy, by which consumers are repeatedly reached with consistent messages, may support individual nutrition education efforts best. It is clear that more research is necessary to identify the needs, behaviors, motivations, and desires of target audiences. Developing and testing cost-effective methods for evaluating the effectiveness of nutrition education programs along with comparative models to investigate the effectiveness of alternative educational interventions are also needed. Practitioner involvement in nutrition education research is vital to gain maximum benefit. Nutrition educators can maximize their individual efforts by joining forces with other interested parties to sponsor programs, collaborate in research, and form coalitions to influence public nutrition policy decisions. In combination with programs designed to react to consumer need, such collaboration can foster nutrition education as an integral component of nutrition communication, promotion, and education systems. The result will be to better ensure that the public has the knowledge and develops the behaviors necessary to achieve and maintain optimal nutritional health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1187-1191
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Volume96
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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    Shafer, L., Gillespie, A., Wilkins, J. L., Borra, S. T., Hudnall, M. J., Kirby, J., O'Neil, C., Owen, A. L., Schwartz, N., Cohen, J. W., Evers, W. D., & Weiss, E. (1996). Position of the American Dietetic Association: Nutrition education for the public. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 96(11), 1187-1191.