WIN Wyoming and WIN the Rockies

Thought Bullets
May 2004 

Nutrition Guidance - Why is it always changing? And why canít we agree?

A few years ago, I went to a workshop on campus designed to assist instructors in helping students develop an "inquiring mind." The presenter was convinced forcing students to regurgitate information on a written test was not the answer. I agree. During one of the small group discussions for the workshop, I was paired with a professor from the engineering college. I made some mention that he must have fascinating topics to teach. He surprised me when he said the basic concepts of his engineering course had not changed in 30 years, and frankly, he was becoming bored. I responded with a comment that little in nutrition had stayed the same over the last 30 years. He gave me a wake-up call when he commented on how exciting it must be to practice in a field of study where the science was still emerging, and where new discoveries were being made every year. I have to admit, I had never viewed nutrition in quite that light before. Over the last few years, Iíve often reflected on that brief discussion and tried to renew my enthusiasm for this field of study we call nutrition. Instead of becoming frustrated with ever changing nutrition guidelines, I keep reminding myself how fun it is not to be bored! For this monthís thought bullets, Iíve tried to capture some ideas why nutrition guidance seems to be ever changing, and why there often seems to be conflicting points of view.

Causey M.  Media skews image of Feds.   Federal Employees News Digest 2004;53(36).

2 Neergaard L.  U.S. adults face "health literacy" crisis.  Associated Press; Washington Post, April 8, 2004.

3 Squires S.  The flip-flop files.  Washington Post, March 16, 2004.

Compiled by Betty Holmes, MS, RD

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