Looking Forward to 2020 – The MS Public Health Association Provides Vision for Registered Dietitians

The Mississippi Public Health Association (MPHA) Annual Conference will be October 17th and 18th at the Hilton in Jackson, MS. With the theme of “Looking Forward – A 2020 Vision for Public Health in Mississippi”, the conference planners have coordinated a program loaded with trending health topics and other special interests. There will be four opportunities for breakout sessions (with 20 different topics from which to choose), professional poster sessions and four keynote plenary sessions featuring:

  • S. Deputy Surgeon General Erica G. Schwartz, MD, JD, MPH
  • MS State Health Officer, Thomas Dobbs, III, MD, MPH
  • Adam Nally, DO – a physician, author and chronic disease expert
  • Timothy Quinn, MD – a physician and motivational community health leader
  • Jim Painter, PhD, RD – a national nutrition expert and author (you may remember, we had Dr. Painter at the 2019 MS-AND Conference in March)

The Nutrition Section of MPHA has applied for 12.5 hours of CPE for registered dietitians for this conference. Conference registration is $30 for MS State Department of Health Employees, $140 for non-MS State Department of Health employees and $75 for retirees and full time students – that is a STEAL for these quality continuing education credits. Membership in MPHA is required to attend conference, but like MS-AND, membership in MPHA has a very positive return on your investment ($30 for individuals, $15 for retirees and $12 for students).

To learn more about the full conference and registration information, click here: http://www.mspha.org/. Registration closes midnight on October 11, 2019. Onsite registration will be available on October 17th and 18th.

Have your made the #HaveAPlantPledge?

September is National Fruit and Veggies Month. This year’s theme is “Have a Plant – Food Rooted in a Better Mood”. The Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation is encouraging people to commit to adding one more fruit or vegetable to your routine every day this month and sign the pledge on their website: https://fruitsandveggies.org/stories/take-the-pledge/ and use the hashtags #HAVEAPLANTPLEDGE, #HAVEAPLANT, and #NFVM2019.

According to the PBH Foundation website, they are committed to transforming how people think about and enjoy fruits and vegetables. They are championing a bold, new initiative – one that leverages insights from behavioral science – to tap into consumers’ emotional connections to food and wellness.

The websites also has information about consumers (particularly Gen Z and Millenials) want actionable, realistic and FUN approaches that make eating fruits and vegetables easy, making them feel confident and happy, rather than a prescriptive recommendation to eat a certain amount of fruits and vegetables each day.

To learn more these initiatives, please visit https://fruitsandveggies.org/

Hunger Awareness in Mississippi

Governor Phil Bryant declared September as Hunger Awareness Month, a month for Mississippians to take a stand against food insecurity. This is important for our state, where one in five Mississippians is food insecure (https://map.feedingamerica.org/county/2017/overall/mississippi).

MS-AND members attended the College and University Anti-Hunger Alliance fall meeting on September 17th at the University of Southern Mississippi.  To learn more about this alliance, click here: http://www.healthy-miss.org/college-anti-hunger/

If you would like to help people in your community find access to food pantries, kitchens and summer feeding sites, please visit http://gotfood.us/.

There are three food banks associated with Feeding America in Mississippi: The Mississippi Food Network (www.msfoodnet.org), Feeding the Gulf Coast (www.feedingthegulfcoast.org) Midsouth Food Bank (www.midsouthfoodbank.org). These organizations distribute donated and purchased food through a network of member churches and nonprofit organizations across Mississippi. Extra Table (https://extratable.org/) is a non-profit organization based in Hattiesburg that partners with at least 15 agencies around Mississippi get food to Mississippians who are food insecure. Many of these partners also help people sign up for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

As registered dietitian/nutritionists, dietetic interns, and food, nutrition and dietetics students, it is important for us to understand more about food insecurity and incorporate solutions into our education and practice. Please review the Academy’s Position on Food Insecurity in the United States (https://jandonline.org/article/S2212-2672(17)31618-0/pdf) for more information and resources.








September 17th College and University Anti-Hunger Alliance Meeting

‘Witches’ fly through Fondren for Food – Casting out Hunger One Broom at a Time

If you are in the Jackson area on October 3, mount your broom-cycle (bicycle) and beckon the Halloween season with the 2nd Witches Ride benefiting the food pantries and soup kitchens Extra Table serves in the Jackson Metro Area. Join the coven of comrades – men and women, alike – on a quick 1-mile flight (bike ride) as they cast a spell of giving and gratitude through the Fondren District during October’s Fondren After Five. Is your broom-cycle in the shop? No worries! Walkers welcome, too!

Click here to learn more and to register: https://extratable.org/extra-table-witches-ride/

Spotlight on Malnutrition

Throughout the month of September, the Academy spotlights malnutrition to increase awareness and underscore the crucial role that registered dietitian nutritionists and nutrition and dietetic technicians, registered play in prevention and treatment of malnutrition for pediatrics, adult and senior populations, and special populations and global malnutrition. Click here for more information and toolkits: https://www.eatrightpro.org/media/multimedia-news-center/spotlight-on-malnutrition-media-materials


Delegate Report

We made it to the fall – even if the temperatures still feel like summer. But as we move through the seasons this year, we get closer to the Academy’s FNCE and the Fall House of Delegates meeting.

As I stated in my August letter, the Academy’s House of Delegates (HOD) selected the topic of Technology: Big Data for discussion at the fall HOD meeting.  As a part of the HOD meeting dialogue, delegates will dive further into what is needed to elevate the role of RDNs and NDTRs and improve outcomes in all areas of practice by leveraging Big Data.  This is where we need your help!
Please take this survey on Technology: Big Data before Thursday, October 3, 2019. The survey should take approximately five minutes of your time. Each affiliate, DPG and MIG’s results will be shared with the entire HOD to help inform the dialogue on Friday, October 25 during the HOD Fall 2019 Meeting

Please remember to use the Academy Action Center (www.eatrightpro.org/advocacy/take-action/action-center) to ask our U. S. Senators and Representatives support:

  • Food Date Labeling Act of 2019 (S. 2337 / H.R. 3981) to end consumer confusion around food date labeling and ensure Americans do not throw out good food.  
  • School Food Modernization Act (S. 1949 / H.R. 3444)
  • Treat and Reduce Obesity Act and Expanding Access to Diabetes Self-Management Training Act, as well as 
  • Preventive Health Savings Act (H.R. 2584 / S. 1361)

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you.


-Lydia West, MPH, RDN, LD, CC
MS-AND Delegate and Past President


Fall 2019 HOD Meeting Update


Strategic Issue

The Strategic Issue for the Fall HOD Meeting is Technology in Nutrition and Dietetics Practice. The HLT had a call just this morning with several Subject Matter Experts and we look forward to sharing more information in the coming weeks.


Professional Issues

Please watch for a post in the coming days regarding the selection of the Professional Issues for the Fall HOD Meeting.

Experience FNCE!