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Food and Nutrition
Section Newsletter
Spring 2004

Message from the Chair

APHA has over 60 policy statements on issues of primary interest to the Food and Nutrition Section. Topics range from nutrition monitoring to food assistance, breastfeeding, and safety of the food supply. In an organization as large and diverse as APHA, it is essential to have a formal process for adopting and updating policies that have benefited from input from all parts of the organization and can guide the advocacy efforts of the Executive Director and paid staff. This year, APHA has undertaken a major effort to review policies adopted since 1948, to 1) archive those that should no longer be active, and 2) flag those in need of updates.

In April and May 2004, the Food and Nutrition Section Council coordinated review of 46 policy statements, and provided our recommendations to APHA by the May 21, 2004 deadline. The 61 FN-related policies were categorized into ten topic areas as follows:
1. Breastfeeding and infant feeding
2. Child Nutrition Programs (e.g., school lunch)
3. Dietary Guidelines
4. Food Stamp Program and other hunger issues
5. Food labeling
6. Food safety
7. Nutrition education & miscellaneous, including international items
8. Nutrition monitoring
9. Overweight and obesity
10. WIC Program

The food safety policy statements were tabled for consideration next year so that we could focus on the remaining 46 items and have time to identify section members with the expertise needed to review food safety policy issues (see “Food Safety Ad Hoc Committee,” below). Of the 46 reviewed, 27 were flagged for archiving, including 18 of the 20 policy statements adopted before 1977. Only four, all adopted since 2000, were classified as “OK as is.” The remaining 15 were flagged as OK, but in need of updating. The discussion of the ratings revealed a general impression that the section would be well served by preparing a few broad policy papers that would consolidate and update many of these positions. These should include reference to the historical archived documents to show that APHA has been active in the area for many years, but should be written in a style that would not quickly become out of date. So while we have made significant progress on the review of APHA food and nutrition policies, there remains much to be done by our section. Follow-up action will be a main subject of discussion at the next FN Section Council conference call (July 2004). If you are interested in working with the Council to draft one of the broad policy statements, please e-mail me at <> indicating which of the above listed areas you would like to address.

Food Safety Ad Hoc Committee: At the FN Section Council mid-year meeting (Feb. 20-21, 2004), the group was generally supportive of the concept of creating a food safety committee within our section. In follow-up, I am officially chartering the Food Safety Ad Hoc Committee, and have appointed Dr. Eileen Parrish as chair of this committee. Dr. Parrish works at FDA, where she specializes in food safety issues. If you would like to co-chair or otherwise participate in this committee, please send an e-mail to me at <> expressing interest. The first charge to the Food Safety Ad Hoc Committee will be to review the APHA food safety policies as we have done for the other FN policies. This will lead to drafting of one or more new policy statements to guide the organization as we face new food safety challenges in the 21st century. The new statement(s) will be submitted to APHA formal review/adoption process early in 2005.

My thanks to the entire Section Council, <>, and Lissa Ong for the group effort reviewing the existing policies. All APHA policy statements can be found on the Web at <>, and this site can be searched by keyword. If you wish to learn more about the APHA process and timetable for policy review, please visit the policy process portion of the APHA Web site: <>.

Jay Hirschman, MPH, CNS
Chair, APHA Food and Nutrition Section

APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

The 2004 Annual Meeting is fast approaching and will be held Nov. 6-10 in Washington, D.C. The theme for this year is "Public Health and the Environment."

The environment has long been one of the American Public Health Association's priority areas. Causes of many disease outbreaks are related to environmental health issues and contribute to growing disparities in health. The APHA Annual Meeting will focus on the role of public health in addressing environmental issues, sustaining healthy environments and enhancing research, public awareness, prevention and treatment of disease caused or exacerbated by environmental factors.

• Registration for the 132nd APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition in Washington, D.C. will open on June 1, 2004. Visit <> to register online.

• APHA’s Annual Meeting program and abstracts are available online at <>. Search the program, view abstracts including learning objectives, CE accreditation and financial disclosure. Opens June 1, 2004!

• LCD Projectors and computers are now included as part of the standard audio-visual package in each scientific session room. This technology will enable presenters to upload their PowerPoint presentations in advance of the meeting and have them pre-loaded on the APHA session computers. Individual presentations then begin with a click of the mouse. The cost and incovenience of bringing a computer to the Annual Meeting has been eliminated for presenters. Take advantage of new technologies and be a part of the E-ssentialLearning experience.

• APHA is expanding the educational experience of the Annual Meeting. New technology will enable voice and PowerPoint presentations to be recorded and uploaded to the APHA Web site following the meeting.

• Personal Scheduler: Use it to plan your meeting itinerary with a click of the mouse. This year, specific exhibition information from the Virtual Expo can also be included in your itinerary. Opens June 1, 2004!

• Information on CME’s, CEU’s and Pre-Convention Continuing Education Institutes can be found at <>.

See you in November!!!

Food and Nutrition Section News


Although the deadline has recently passed for this year’s award nominations, in the future, please consider your colleagues who are members of the Food and Nutrition Section for one of the following awards presented at the APHA annual meeting.

Catherine Cowell Award

Sponsored by the Food & Nutrition Section; award plaque. The Catherine Cowell award recognizes excellence and achievement in administration, planning, mentoring, and team building in public health nutrition.

Mary C. Egan Award

Sponsored by the Food & Nutrition Section; award plaque. The Mary C. Egan award recognizes the professional contributions and outstanding services of public health nutritionists, including development of new approaches to public health nutrition, nutrition education, or groups with special nutrition needs.

Excellence in Dietary Guidance Award

Sponsored by the Produce For Better Health Foundation and the Food & Nutrition Section; award plaque and monetary award. The Excellence in Dietary Guidance award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the area of dietary guidance formulation, research, education, implementation or policy change.

Congratulations to the Award Recipients for 2003

Catherine Cowell Award - Annie B. Carr
Mary C. Egan Award - Ellen Harris
Excellence in Dietary Guidance Award - Katrina Holt
Agnes Higgins Award - Lois Jovanovic
Student Abstract Award - Tracy Hilliard

More information on the Food and Nutrition Section Awards can be viewed at <>.


In February 2004, the proposed policy statement shown below was submitted to APHA by the Food and Nutrition Section. (Note: This proposed policy statement has not been voted on by the Governing Council and should be for APHA members' eyes only). A special "thank you" to Geraldine Perry for suggesting that we submit a policy statement on this subject, and to Margo Wootan for leading the effort in drafting the following:

Food and Nutrition Section, APHA

Support for Nutrition Labeling in Fast-Food and Other Chain Restaurants

The American Public Health Association is concerned and working to address the rising obesity rates in adults and children. Poor eating habits contribute not only to obesity, but also to heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and other serious and costly diseases.

There are a number of factors that contribute to obesity and poor diets. One is the increase in the frequency of eating out. Nationally representative studies have shown that Americans are eating out twice as much as in 1970. In 1970, Americans spent just 26 percent of their food dollars on restaurant meals and other meals prepared outside their homes.(1) Today, we spend almost half (46 percent) our food dollars at restaurants. Adults and children are eating about a third of their calories from away-from-home foods.(2)

Increases in Americans’ caloric intake over the past two decades may be due in part to increases in eating out.(2,3) Children eat almost twice as many calories when they eat a meal at a restaurant (770 calories) compared to a meal at home (420 calories).(4) Women who eat out more often (more than 5 times a week) consume an average of 290 more calories each day than women who eat out less often.(5) Several (though not all) studies have found a positive association between eating out and body weight or body fatness.(7,8,9,10,11)

Foods that people eat from fast-food and other food-service establishments are generally higher in nutrients for which over-consumption is a problem (like fat and saturated fat) and lower in nutrients that people need to eat more of (like calcium and fiber) as compared to home-prepared foods.(2,5,8,9,11) The foods that children eat from fast-food and other restaurants also are higher in fat and saturated fat and lower in fiber, iron, calcium, and cholesterol than foods from home.(4,12)

Portion sizes in America have increased since the 1970s, paralleling the increase in energy intake.(13,14) Calorie counts of restaurant foods can be high. A white chocolate mocha and a cinnamon scone at a coffeehouse can have about a half-a-day’s calories (1,030 calories). A large fast-food chocolate shake has over a thousand calories.

While the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) requires nutrition information on nearly all packaged foods, fast-food and other restaurants are exempt. Yet, the nutritional content of restaurant foods is often hard to estimate. A tuna salad sandwich has 50 percent more calories than the roast beef with mustard at a typical deli. A porterhouse steak has twice the calories of the sirloin.

The current system of voluntary labeling at restaurants is inadequate given the growing and significant role of restaurant foods in Americans’ diets. Two-thirds of the largest chain restaurants do not provide any nutrition information to their customers.(15) The third that do have nutrition information provide it on Web sites, which have to be accessed before leaving home, or on brochures or posters that can be hard to find and difficult to read.

Three-quarters of adults report using food labels on packaged foods,(16)and using food labels is associated with eating more-healthful diets.(17,18,19) Two-thirds of Americans support requiring restaurants to provide nutrition information, including calories, on menus.(20,21)

A number of policies and approaches should be undertaken to reduce obesity and help support Americans’ efforts to eat better. Nutrition labeling at fast-food and other chain restaurants is an important one given the large percentage of our calories eaten from away-from-home foods, the large portion sizes and high calorie contents often served, and the lack of nutrition information available at restaurants. It also is a practical, low-cost solution in these times of tight government budgets.

APHA supports:
1. Federal, state or local policies to require fast-food and other chain restaurants (smaller, neighborhood restaurants could be exempt) to provide consumers with nutrition information. That information might include calorie, carbohydrate (important to people with diabetes), saturated plus trans fat, and sodium labeling on printed menus and calories on menu boards (where space is limited). The food environment should be changed to provide people with nutrition information at the full range of places where decisions about food purchases and consumption are made.
2. Efforts to teach people how to use the new nutrition information provided in restaurants to make healthier food choices for themselves and their families. Nutrition information at restaurants will create new opportunities for the public health community to address energy balance.
3. Urging restaurants to improve the nutritional quality of their menu offerings such as reducing caloric content, offering smaller portions, offering more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and using healthier cooking fats (lower in saturated and trans fat).

The Food and Nutrition Section, APHA
Margo G. Wootan, DSc
Chair, Legislation & Public Policy, Food and Nutrition Section
1875 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 777-8352 (phone)

1. National Restaurant Association (NRA). “Industry at a Glance.” Accessed at <> on April 12, 2002.
2. Lin B, Guthrie J, Frazao E. Away-From-Home Foods Increasingly Important to Quality of American Diet. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 1999. Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 749.
3. Nielsen SJ, Siega-Riz AM, Popkin BM. “Trends in Food Locations and Sources among Adolescents and Young Adults.” Preventive Medicine 2002, vol. 35, pp. 107-113.
4. Zoumas-Morse C, Rock CL, Sobo EJ, Neuhouser ML. “Children’s Patterns of Macronutrient Intake and Associations with Restaurant and Home Eating.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2001, vol. 101, pp. 923-925.
5. Clemens LHE, Slawson DL, Klesges RC. “The Effect of Eating Out on Quality of Diet in Premenopausal Women.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 1999, vol. 99, pp. 442-444.
6. French SA, Story M, Neumark-Sztainer D, Fulkerson JA, Hannan P. “Fast Food Restaurant Use among Adolescents: Associations with Nutrient Intake, Food Choices and Behavioral and Psychosocial Variables.” International Journal of Obesity 2001, vol. 25, pp. 1823-1833.
7. Binkley JK, Eales J, Jekanowski M. “The Relation Between Dietary Change and Rising US Obesity.” International Journal of Obesity 2000, vol. 24, pp. 1032-1039.
8. Jeffery RW, French SA. “Epidemic Obesity in the United States: Are Fast Food and Television Viewing Contributing?” American Journal of Public Health 1998, vol. 88, pp. 277-280.
9. Ma Y, Bertone ER, Stanek III EJ, Reed GW, Hebert JR, Cohen NL, Merriam PA, Ockene IS. “Association between Eating Patterns and Obesity in a Free-living US Adult Population.” American Journal of Epidemiology 2003, vol. 158, pp. 85-92.
10. McCrory MA, Fuss PJ, Saltzman E, Roberts SB. “Dietary Determinants of Energy Intake and Weight Regulation in Healthy Adults.” Journal of Nutrition 2000, vol. 130 (Supplement), pp. 276S-279S.
11. McCrory MA, Fuss PJ, Hays NP, Vinken AG, Greenberg AS, Roberts SB. “Overeating in America: Associations between Restaurant Food Consumption and Body Fatness in Healthy Adult Men and Women Ages 19 to 80.” Obesity Research 1999, vol. 7, pp. 564-571.
12. Lin BH, Guthrie J, Blaylock JR. The Diets of America’s Children: Influence of Dining Out, Household Characteristics, and Nutrition Knowledge. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 1996. Agricultural Economic Report No. 746.
13. Jacobson MF, Hurley JG. Restaurant Confidential. New York, NY: Workman Publishing, 2002.
14. Nielsen SJ, Popkin BM. “Patterns and Trends in Food Portion Sizes, 1977-1998.” Journal of the American Medical Association 2003, vol. 289, pp. 450-453.
15. Almanza BA, Nelson D, Chai S. “Obstacles to Nutrition Labeling in Restaurants.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 1997, vol. 97, pp. 157-161.
16. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Healthy People 2000 Final Review. Hyattsville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, 2001. DHHS Publication No. 01-0256.
17. Kim SY, Nayga RM, Capps O. “The Effect of Food Label Use on Nutrient Intakes: An Endogenous Switching Regression Analysis.” Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 2000, vol. 25, pp. 215-231.
18. Kreuter MW, Brennan LK, Scharff DP, Lukwago SN. “Do Nutrition Label Readers Eat Healthier Diets? Behavioral Correlates of Adults’ Use of Food Labels.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine 1997, vol. 13, pp. 277-283.
19. Neuhouser ML, Kristal AR, Patterson RE. “Use of Food Nutrition Labels Is Associated with Lower Fat Intake.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 1999, vol. 99, pp. 45-50, 53.
20. Global Strategy Group. Nationally representative poll commissioned by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Washington, D.C.; September 4-8, 2003.
21. Harvard Forums on Health. “Obesity as a Public Health Issue: A Look at Solutions.” National poll by Lake Snell Perry & Associates, June 2003.

NOTE: The above proposed policy statement should be considered "DRAFT" and should not be taken as official APHA policy unless and until formally adopted by the organization.


The American Public Health Association's 2004 Section elections will begin May 14, 2004, and will end on June 15, 2004.

On May 14 you should have received an e-mail notification from "Election Services Corporation," letting you know that your Section's election is open. Please do not delete this e-mail.

Your e-mail notification will include:

* Your online election validation number
* Your APHA membership ID number
* Voting instructions
* A direct link to your Section's voting Web site

All you have to do is click on the direct link and VOTE!

If you choose to vote online, please be assured that the site will be secure and you will have the same level of privacy and anonymity as if voting by mail. The system will prevent anyone from voting more than once.

APHA Advocacy and Policy News


On March 25, 2004, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3873, “The Child Nutrition Improvement & Integrity Act,” by a vote of 419 to 5. The bill would reauthorize through 2008 and makes some legislative changes to WIC, the National School Lunch Program and other child nutrition programs. The bill fails to set federal standards for foods sold in schools (such as fast food) that competes with food sold specifically through the traditional school lunch program. APHA supports the inclusion of provisions to require nutritional guidelines for these so-called “competitive foods.” A summary of the bill prepared by the House Education and the Workforce Committee is available on the Web at: <>. A summary prepared by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) is available on the web at <>. The Statement of Administration policy on this bill is available at: <>. The Congressional Budget Office cost estimate and analysis are available at <>.

On May 19, 2004, the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee by unanimous voice vote passed the “Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004.” A summary and the full text of the Committee bill are available on the Web at <>.

APHA Actions: AHPA policy 2003-19 Support for WIC and Child Nutrition Programs (written by the FN section, and available on the Web at <> provides policy guidance for the organization. Consistent with this policy, APHA supports a set of recommendations that were shared with members of Congress as they consider the reauthorization and legislative changes for WIC, the National School Lunch Program and other child nutrition programs. The recommendations can be viewed at <>.
To read more about current issues on APHA legislation, advocacy and policy, visit <>


In 2001, the APHA Executive Board approved the establishment of a Task Force on Aging (TFA), with mandated representation from all APHA Sections, Caucuses, and SPIGs. Guiding objectives of the APHA TFA are:

1. Raise awareness and promote education about aging within the APHA.

2. Recommend ways to improve public health infrastructure in the context of aging.

3. Develop and advocate for public policies that will improve the health and well being of the aging population throughout the world.

To help meet these objectives, TFA has created a "Scopes" document, identifying areas in which public health and aging interface. To view the entire document and learn more about TFA, click on the link below.

Related Files:

Current Issues in Research and Practice


There has been a dramatic increase in overweight among children in the United States in recent decades. According to the CDC, in 2003:

• Almost 9 million children and adolescents in the United States aged 6-19 years are overweight.

• The prevalence of overweight among children aged 6-11 has more than doubled in the past 20 years, increasing from 7 percent in 1980 to 15 percent in 2000. Overweight among adolescents aged 12-19 has tripled in the same time period, rising from 5 percent to 15 percent.

• While the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased in all segments of the U.S. population, it is particularly common among minority groups and those with a lower family income.

For more information, visit the Food and Nutrition Section Web site on Childhood Overweight at <>.



Calendar Of Nutrition Meetings

American Dietetic Association
2004 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo
Oct. 2-5, 2004, in Anaheim, California

Society for Nutrition Education
37th Annual Conference: Inviting Everyone to the Table
July 17 - 21, 2004 in Salt Lake City, Utah

Here is a Web site that has a calendar of nutrition meetings, conferences and activities: <>.

Employment, Training, and Funding Opportunities

  • Assistant/Associate Professor in Nutrition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Assistant/Associate Professor in Nutrition, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Position: Assistant/Associate Professor in Nutrition (tenure track, nine-month appointment) with focus on obesity and weight management.
    Location: Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition; College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    Qualifications and Responsibilities: PhD, MD/PhD or PhD/RD in nutrition, physiology, biochemistry, endocrinology, behavior sciences or related fields with demonstrated expertise in basic or clinical research in areas of obesity, weight management or type 2 diabetes. Specific areas of expertise may include molecular and biochemical aspects of obesity, regulation of cell signaling, genetic markers, behavioral aspects or prevention/intervention.
    For more information: <>.

  • Tenure-Track Faculty Position in Human Nutrition, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University
    The Division of Nutritional Sciences is the largest academic program devoted to teaching, research and outreach in human nutrition in the US. This top-rated program has for many years trained 8-10 percent of those who received doctorates in nutrition. To enhance our ability to train future leaders in human nutrition, we seek to fill the position described here.
    Position: Assistant, Associate or Full Professor of Human Nutrition
    Responsibilities: This position is 50 percent research and 50 percent teaching.
    • Research: The appointee will be expected to maintain a leading, externally funded research program in the study of human nutrition. The Division engages in research in a broad range of scholarly areas and particularly seeks an individual interested in human metabolic or clinical nutrition for this position. A newly completed human metabolic facility is available to support the research program of the new appointee.
    • Teaching: The appointee will be expected to teach undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in human nutrition, advise undergraduate students and supervise the research of graduate students.
    Review of applications will begin on April 12, 2004, and continue until the position is filled. Inquiries about this position can be addressed to the search committee chair Professor Kathleen M. Rasmussen at (607) 255-2290 or <>.

  • Visiting Project Coordinator, University of Illinois, Chicago
    Visiting project coordinator for a school-based childhood obesity intervention study, University of Illinois, Chicago
    The Dept. of Human Nutrition at University of Illinois at Chicago seeks a visiting project coordinator for a NIH-funded school-based childhood obesity intervention study in Chicago. Desirable candidates will have a graduate degree in nutrition, public health, or related discipline, related research experience, and be highly motivated and reliable. Registered dietitian (RD) status and experience working with urban African American children a plus. Responsibilities include directing the day-to-day activities of the research, participant recruitment, managing data collection, and coordination and implementation of the intervention program, maintaining approval with IRB, and supervising research assistants. This position provides an excellent opportunity to gain nutrition and epidemiology related research experience, work with children, and learn more about obesity, healthy eating and physical activity. Competitive salary and excellent benefits. This is a fixed-term position funded for one year with possibility of refunding. Qualified candidates please e-mail CV to <> and mail three recommendation letters to Dr. Youfa Wang, Dept. of Human Nutrition, M/C 517, 1919 W. Taylor St., Chicago, IL 60612. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt.

  • Project Manager, Penn State University, University Park, PA
    (posted 05/11/04)
    Project manager needed for a longitudinal study of young girls and their families investigating the emergence of dieting and disordered eating among girls. Responsibilities include directing the day-to-day activities of the research, supervising graduate students and staff, coordinating data collection onsite and at other university locations, maintaining approval with IRB and University Biosafety Committees, and assisting with grant management. Also responsible for project data management, which includes coordinating with offsite data entry staff and data processing staff as well as writing SAS code and analyzing data. Conduct literature searches, write and recommend experimental procedure modifications and prepare charts, graphs, and statistical analyses of data. Requires Master`s degree or equivalent, plus three months of work-related experience. To apply, send cover letter, resume and names, addresses and phone numbers of three references to Michelle Mannino, Penn State University, S110 Henderson Building, University Park, PA 16802.

  • Project Manager. The California Center for Public Health Advocacy
    CCPHA is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that raises awareness about public health issues and mobilizes communities to promote the establishment of effective health policies. CCPHA addresses the childhood obesity in California by seeking state and local policy reform.

    Salary will be based on experience and includes health, dental and 403(b) benefits.


    1. A minimum of five years of experience in developing and advocating for statewide policy reform (California experience is preferred).
    2. A public health or public policy background (knowledge of nutrition and physical activity issues is a plus).
    3. Excellent writing and public speaking skills.
    4. Ability to work independently and as a member of a team.
    5. Computer skills including knowledge of Microsoft Suite of software.

    Applications accepted until Tuesday, June 15, 2004, <>. To apply, send a resume, writing sample and a cover letter by June 15, 2004 to: California Center for Public Health Advocacy PO Box 2309 Davis, California 95617

  • Project Coordinator, University of Maryland School of Medicine
    The Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine is seeking for a Project Coordinator to work with an interdisciplinary group of investigators on 3 NIH-funded randomized controlled intervention trials related to child development and nutrition: 1) obesity prevention and health promotion within a longitudinal cohort of low-income, Baltimore children, 2) health promotion among adolescent mothers, fathers, and their children, and 3) micronutrient supplementation among low-income infants in India. Job responsibilities include data management, supervising a staff of about 10, and knowledge of SPSS and MS Access. Excellent preparation for an academic career with opportunities for publishing and grant writing. Start Date, July 5, 2004. Please send a cover letter, CV, and names of three references to Maureen Black, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland, 655 W. Lombard Street, Suite 311, Baltimore, MD 21201, <>. The University of Maryland is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Applications accepted until Tuesday, June 15, 2004.