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Move Over Deprivation! Will Moderation Be The New Diet Mantra?


Many of us registered dietitians and health professionals talk about moderation ad nauseum. Problem is, moderation isn’t sexy–at least it wasn’t until today!

MODERATION NATION, a national initiative by the Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition (HCHN) and the American Dietetic Association (ADA), launches today. This program will cover the cost of registered dietitian visits for consumers (18 and older). Now isn’t that sexy? I think so!

The goal of the program, which also includes online and face-to-face engagement tools (including Moderation Menus and an iPhone app), is to explain what moderation really means when it comes to nutrition and physical activity (does anyone really even know what that word means anyway?). More importantly, it will try to teach Americans how to incorporate the moderation concept into their daily lives to optimize their overall health and sense of well being.

A recent ADA survey–Nutrition and You: Trends 2008–found that 61 percent of consumers were interested in receiving a diet and nutritional consultation if the cost was covered by health insurance. Both ADA and HCHN want you to consider this initiative your best new insurance!

Over the next three years, HCHN will initially commit at least $500,000 to cover the cost of one-on-one counseling visits with a registered dietitian.

If you want to make moderation your daily diet mantra, go to www.TheModerationNation.com. There you’ll find menus developed by registered dietitians, and a meal balancer (an interactive tool through which consumers can enter a main dish they plan for a meal and receive suggestions for complementary side dishes). There’s even a free iPhone app called Balance Break that reminds you to take several 10-minute activity breaks each day to meet your weekly physical activity goals).

We as an overweight, sickly nation have our work cut out for us when it comes to eating more healthfully and getting more active. We’ll have to wait and see whether this new initiative will help move us in a more healthful direction. And while many health experts (including registered dietitians) will find the partnership between ADA and a candy company distasteful or at least perplexing, I truly believe that you need a big platform to be heard, and this initiative helps put registered dietitians front and center as the true diet and nutrition experts. If the partnership simply exposes Americans to registered dietitians and by doing so, helps them learn how to eat more healthfully and more moderately, where’s the harm in that? It’s not like moderation means consuming all your calories from chocolate (though that idea does tempt me just a little)…..

Your thoughts?

Disclosure: I am a past spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. And while I haven’t in the past and don’t at this time receive compensation from The Hershey Company, I do admit I eat a lot of their chocolate (almost daily). Plain milk is my favorite.

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About The Author

Elisa Zied is a nationally recognized registered dietitian nutritionist, author, speaker, and spokesperson. A trusted source of food, nutrition, and health information, Elisa has garnered millions of media impressions, lending her expertise and real-world perspective to dozens of TV shows, web sites, news organizations and magazines. She’s the author of four nutrition books and is currently working on her first novel. You can find her previous Food, Fitness & Fiction posts here and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook.

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