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Food and Nutrition
Section Newsletter
Winter 2010

Message from the Chair

I would like to welcome you all to a new and exciting year.  ItSibylle Kranz is my pleasure to serve as your chair in the Food and Nutrition Section (FNS) this year.  Our section has gained a well-deserved reputation for being one of the most active sections within the APHA organization.  Our board and policy action committee have worked in full collaboration with other sections and interest groups to push public health issues forward.  Congratulations!!

 

I am very happy to report that the FNS membership continues to grow and that we are also enjoying an increasing number of individuals who are willing and able to take on leadership responsibilities.  It is noteworthy to point out that although APHA members can choose to join several sections, most of our section members elect to be only members of FNS.  I would like to encourage you to think about your choices – you might want to join other sections as well…and recruit some of their members for FNS while you are over there!

 

Our conference program continues to go strong, and abstracts for the next Annual Meeting poured in. Thanks to Allyssa Ghiradelli and Rachel Fisher for their diligent work.  We remain a strong section and proceed to have co-sponsored or jointly organized sessions with other APHA Sections. The Physical Activity SPIG got off the ground, and we expect them to remain a strong collaborator to our section in the future.  For many of us, a second membership in the PA SPIG is a good idea.

 

We have a new committee to pursue fundraising efforts for our section, and under the leadership of Collin Payne, a new FNS member, we continue to explore APHA donation policies and a comprehensive list of companies that meet the standards for allowable donations.

 

Our Membership Committee (WenYen Juan, Nadine Braunstein) developed materials to solicit new members, especially students.  Furthermore, communications will be sent quarterly to welcome new members into the FNS community.

 

Our Communications Committee manages our various communication mechanisms including the Web site, e Communities, a listserv (or blast e-mail system), and of course, the quarterly newsletter.  Congratulations to all of our section members who have contributed and who are helping to move FNS forward.

 

The newsletter content will continue to focus on Public Health Nutrition topics that are important and timely, and to highlight specific activities in the area.  Sarah Forrestal will continue editing the FNS newsletter. You might want to get in touch with her about using it to share information on programs, research, or advocacy issues.

 

I hope we meet your membership needs and continue to provide you with an interesting and professional networking environment.

 

Thank you all for your energy and commitment,

Sibylle

 

Brotherly Love and Sustainable Eats

AWeaver's Way signt the APHA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, it was easy to get lost in all the business meetings, scientific sessions and special events. Still, 50 people made it to a food system bus tour of some of the city’s sustainable markets and urban farms on the opening day of the conference. On the tour organized by APHA’s Food and Environment Working Group, participants visited Greensgrow Farm, the Urban Nutrition InitiativeClark Park Farmers’ Market, Milk and Honey Market, Weaver’s Way, the Fair Food Farm Stand at Reading Terminal Market, and a healthy corner store site.

 

A diverse group of food system experts, academics, physicians and students from as far away as Australia joined in eager to see the greener side of Philly’s food scene and share experiences from back home.

 

food systems tour participants“It was a natural fit to have this tour in Philadelphia,” said Lynn Fredericks, founder of FamilyCook Productions in New York City, and a member of the APHA Food and Nutrition Section and the Food and Environment Working Group. “We would like to take the opportunity to explore the food systems within the host cities for our APHA conferences, and in the case of Philly, with such a plethora of innovations within their food system, it was an ideal location to inaugurate this concept.”  Fredericks was impressed that the tour pulled a diverse group of public health professionals from around the world, but even the locals learned a thing or two.

 

Another stop was Weaver’s Way’s newest urban farm, Hope Garden, developed for and with Stenton Family Manor Homeless Shelter. Here, a blighted piece of vacant land has been transformed into a productive urban farm. Fredericks said the tourgoers were impressed with the system where the farm grows food for and with people from the adjacent homeless shelter.

 

At Greensgrow Farm, the tour saw an example of a vertically integrated farm originally started on a former industrial site, whose mission is focused on benefitting the community.

 

Anne Marie Thow, a PhD student in health policy at the University of Sydney in Australia, said she enjoyed hearing about the grassroots efforts to improve health in Philadelphia. 

 

“All the presenters were very knowledgeable and together provided a very comprehensive introduction to the different aspects of creating a healthier local food supply through urban agriculture, kitchen gardens and healthier local stores,” Thow said. “As someone working in public health policy, I also really appreciated the presentation by a local government representative, which provided a policy perspective on how to improve food availability.”

 

As a family physician who researches how the food environment influences people’s dietary patterns, Dr. Sean Lucan of Bronx, N.Y., said he appreciated the opportunity to see firsthand the urban gardens and corner store initiatives he had heard about.

 

“The use of abandoned lots, park space, school grounds, and even raised beds on concrete lots was amazing to me,” he said. “The co-op idea was also new to me, and it was interesting to see how these different aspects of the food system intfood systems tour participantserdigitate, and to understand the financial and logistical models that allow them to operate.”

 

For more information or to get involved in APHA’s Food and Environment Working Group, visit http://www.foodenvironment.com.  This article was adapted with permission from its original publication at the Center for a Livable Future blog.  Thanks to Rebecca Klein for sharing photos.

New WIC Food Package Increases Access to Fruits and Vegetables

The New WIC Food Package

By last October, state agencies were required to begin implementation of the revised Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food package. Over the past three decades, many groups and individuals have called for changes in the supplemental foods provided by the WIC program. However, last year’s changes comprised the first comprehensive overhaul of the food package since the program was permanently established in 1974.  (The only other notable change occurred in 1992, when the supplemental foods provided for breastfeeding women were expanded somewhat.)

 

The proposed changes, which were originally published as an interim rule in the Federal Register on Dec. 6, 2007, were intended to better align the food package with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the infant feeding practice guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

The food package better promotes and supports the establishment and long-term success of breastfeeding; provides WIC recipients with a wider variety of healthier foods, including fruits and vegetables and whole grains; and allows state agencies more flexibility in defining food package items in order to accommodate the cultural food preferences of WIC participants.

 

Although states were required to implement changes in the food package by last October, the interim rule comment period just ended on Feb. 1, 2010. USDA will issue the final rule after analysis of public comments, so some implementation details could change.

 

Fruits and Vegetables for WIC Clients

One of the biggest changes to the food package is the addition of foods previously not available through the program. For the first time ever, clients are issued cash value vouchers (CVVs) to buy fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables.

 

What's new?: WIC fruit and vegetable vouchers
For the first time ever, WIC participants can purchase fruits and vegetables with their benefits.
All fruits and vegetables are allowed, except white potatoes.
Fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are allowed.
Organic fruits and vegetables are allowed if they meet state criteria.
Stores and farmers’ markets cannot give participants cash back for the unspent portion of a fruit and vegetable voucher.
State agencies can allow participants to pay the difference when the purchase of fruits and vegetables exceeds the value of the voucher.
State agencies have the option to authorize farmers at farmers’ markets and roadside stands to accept WIC vouchers for fruits and vegetables.

 

In addition to implementation of the new vouchers for the purchase of fruits and vegetables, on Dec. 31, 2009, USDA fast-tracked the release of regulations that increased the fruit/vegetable voucher amount for women from $8 to $10 per month. States have until April 30, 2010 to implement the new voucher amount.  Previously only exclusively breastfeeding women received the $10 allotment, which has now been extended to women who are pregnant, post-partum or partially breastfeeding. The allotment for children remains $6 per month.

 

Changes in the WIC food package and the increased allotment per month for fruits and vegetables are helping shape a healthier food assistance program for women, infants and children. Slowly but surely, low-income women and their families will have access to the affordable, nutritious food they deserve.

 

Proposed WIC Increases for Fruit and Vegetable Vouchers for Children in 2011

President Obama's budget requests funds for the full Institute of Medicine-recommended fruit and vegetable voucher levels for children.  If Congress includes this change in their final appropriations, WIC-enrolled children will receive an additional $2 to bring their full monthly benefit to $8 in fruit and vegetable vouchers.

 

For more information, visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic and http://www.frac.org/WIC.

 

Award and Job Opportunities

2010 Crumbine Award Deadline Approaching

The Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI) would like to remind prospective applicants for the 2010 Samuel J. Crumbine Award for Excellence in Food Protection at the Local Level that the entry deadline is March 15, 2010. More details for applicants may be found on FPI’s Web site in the “Awards” section.

 

Named for one of America’s most renowned health officers and health educators – Samuel J. Crumbine, MD (1862-1954) – the award has elevated the importance of food protection programs within government departments and agencies and has inspired excellence in the planning and delivery of those services.

 

Entries for the Crumbine Award competition are limited to US and Canadian local environmental health jurisdictions (county, district, city, town or township) that provide food protection services to their communities under authority of a statute or ordinance. The U.S. Uniformed Services and U.S. Indian Health Service area programs are also invited to compete, if they are not monitored by a state, county or city health unit. Past winners may apply five years after receiving the award.

 

The guidelines are the basis for all Crumbine Award applications and must be followed in order to be considered for the award. The basic award criteria, by which achievement is measured, are:

·         Sustained improvements and excellence, as documented by specific outcomes and achievements, over the preceding four to six years, as evidenced by continual improvements in the basic components of a comprehensive program;

·         Innovative and effective use of program methods and problem solving to identify and reduce risk factors that are known to cause foodborne illness;

·         Demonstrated improvements in planning, managing and evaluating a comprehensive program; and

·         Targeted outreach; forming partnerships; and participating in forums that foster communication and information exchange among the regulators, industry and consumer representatives.

 

The winner of the award is selected by an independent panel of food protection practitioners who are qualified by education and experience to discern excellence in a program of food and beverage sanitation. They represent various interests, including leading public health and environmental health associations, past Crumbine Award winners, consumer advocates and the food industry. The jury makes its award selection each spring in a judging process administered by FPI. The application deadline for the award is March 15, 2010.

 

The Crumbine Award is supported by the Conference for Food Protection in cooperation with the American Academy of Sanitarians, American Public Health Association, Association of Food & Drug Officials, Foodservice Packaging Institute, International Association for Food Protection, International Food Safety Council, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Environmental Health Association, NSF International and Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.

 

For more information about the Crumbine Award, including the 2010 award guidelines, visit FPI’s Web site in the “Awards” section, or contact Caron Mason at FPI by phone at (703) 538-3550 or by e-mail at cmason@fpi.org.

 

Position Announcement: Assistant or Associate Professor in Public Health Nutrition, Syracuse University

Syracuse University is a private, coeducational, and residential university located in the center of New York state, about 250 miles northwest of New York City.  Its enrollment of approximately 10,700 undergraduate students and 5,000 graduate students represents the 50 states, more than 76 countries, and a variety of diverse backgrounds.

 

The nutrition programs at SU include an accredited didactic program in dietetics, a nutrition science undergraduate major, a master’s degree program, and an accredited dietetic internship.  Approximately 140 undergraduate and 20 graduate students pursue degrees in nutrition.  The faculty of the department, located in the College of Human Ecology, pride ourselves on quality instruction, experiential and service learning, and applied research.  With a nutrition assessment wet lab, beautiful state-of-the-art teaching food labs constructed in 2006, and increasing enrollments, we are seeking to add another enthusiastic individual to our faculty leadership team for the fall 2010 semester.  This position is for the 8.5-month academic year.  The successful candidate will develop and teach courses in nutrition research methods, public health and/or international nutrition, and nutritional epidemiology.  The anticipated distribution of effort is 45 percent teaching, 40 percent research, and 15 percent administrative service.

 

Assistant/Associate professor qualifications:

·         Earned doctorate, MPH or DPH preferred

·         Background in public health nutrition

·         Proven track record of high quality teaching experience at the university level

·         Potential for scholarly achievement through research, publications, presentations, and external funding

 

Responsibilities:

·         Teach undergraduate and graduate courses

·         Supervise applied and service learning experiences for students

·         Serve as academic advisor for assigned students

·         Develop an active research program

·         Pursue external funding

·         Service to institution and/or community

 

Applicants for the position should be able to teach in at least two of the following areas: public health nutrition, nutritional epidemiology, food and nutrition policy, nutrition research methods, global or international nutrition.

 

Application process:

Submit your application including cover letter, curriculum vitae, official transcripts, and three letters of recommendation on the Syracuse University Job Opportunites Web site.  For questions, please contact Kay Stearns Bruening, PhD, RD, Chair, NSD Department, Syracuse University, 304 Lyman Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244.  Review of applications will begin as they are received.

 

Position Announcement: Postdoctoral Position in Child Nutrition, Purdue University

A postdoctoral position is open for a motivated individual with previous training in the areas of pediatric nutrition and/or child behavior. The research focus is on intake patterns, diet-disease relationships, and diet-behavior interactions influencing children’s health, especially understanding the development, course, and consequences of pediatric obesity among children, adolescents, and young adults from various socio-economic backgrounds. The position will involve data management and analysis of data from observational and/or intervention studies, writing of manuscripts for publication, and preparation of grant proposals. Contribution to new hypotheses is expected and first authorship on manuscripts is encouraged. Additional opportunities for teaching in nutrition and public health are available for interested candidates.

 

Candidates must have received a doctoral degree in the last three years in public health, nutrition, child and family development, psychology, exercise science or a related field and have excellent analytical, organizational, and problem-solving skills, a strong potential to work independently, and good verbal and written communication skills. Experience in statistical programming and data management is highly desirable. The position is available immediately but will remain open until a qualified candidate is identified. Interested candidates should send a cover letter, CV, a writing sample (e.g. published manuscript), and the names of three references to: S. Kranz, PhD, RD; 700 West State St. Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 479062059.  Purdue is an equal opportunity employer.

 

Position Announcement: Staff Scientist for Nutrition Action Healthletter

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is a non-profit health-advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., that focuses on nutrition and food safety. CSPI publishes Nutrition Action Healthletter, the nation’s largest-circulation nutrition newsletter.

 

CSPI provides valuable, objective information to the public; represents citizens’ interests before legislative, regulatory, and judicial bodies; and ensures that advances in science are used for the public’s good. CSPI is supported largely by the 850,000 U.S. and Canadian subscribers to its Nutrition Action Healthletter (NAH) and by foundation grants.

 

The Staff Scientist identifies critical issues concerning diet and health, evaluates studies, writes articles for NAH, and participates in efforts to influence government and corporate activities. This position reports to the Director of Nutrition.

 

Essential duties and responsibilities:

·         Research scientific literature and gather information and opinions from authorities and organizations.

·         Propose compelling article ideas and draft articles for NAH.

·         Serve as media spokesperson on food and nutrition issues.

·         Serve as information resource on food and nutrition matters to CSPI members, staff, and general public.

·         Assist in preparing comments on Federal Register notices, and writing formal petitions.

·         Assist Executive Director with evaluating scientific issues and literature.

 

Qualifications:

·         Interest in CSPI’s advocacy and educational mission and public interest commitment.

·         PhD in nutrition, epidemiology, or public health (diet and health focus), or MD, is strongly preferred, as well as four or more post-doctoral years’ experience in evaluating research on diet and health.

·         Excellent communication skills with the ability to speak effectively to colleagues about on-going projects; interview scientists to gather data; and serve as media spokesperson on diet and health issues.

·         Excellent organizational skills and strong attention to detail.

·         Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced environment with multiple priorities and frequent deadlines.

·         Computer proficiency with MS Office applications and database programs, with an emphasis on Word and Excel; and experience with Internet-based research tools, specifically Nexis and PubMed.

 

To apply, please send your application materials, which should include a cover letter, resume, and samples of research and writing for the lay public, to: Colleen O’Day, Center for Science in the Public Interest, 1875 Conn. Ave., NW #300, Washington, DC 20009; or e-mail to hr@cspinet.org.

 

CSPI is an equal opportunity employer. Minorities, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Visit the CSPI Web site to learn more.

 

APHA Announcements

APHA NOMINATING COMMITTEE SEEKS POTENTIAL CANDIDATES FOR APHA LEADERSHIP POSITIONS IN 2010

The Nominating Committee for APHA's Governing Council is looking for the following candidates for leadership roles in the organization:

 

  • APHA President Elect (three year commitment, one year each as president-elect, president and past-president)
  • Executive board – three positions available (4-year term)
  • Speaker of the Governing Council (3-year term)
  • Treasurer (3-year term)

The APHA Governing Council will vote to select these officers at the November (2010) meeting, and they would begin serving immediately after the APHA conference (so terms would start Nov. 10, 2010).

 

As I'm sure you know, the next APHA Annual Meeting is Nov. 6-10, 2010, in Denver.

 

Applications are due March 31, 2010 and should include the relevant (attached) one-page form along with resume/CV of the nominee, and any letters of support. The nominating committee will meet May 6 to select the list of nominees for consideration by the Governing Council at the 2010 Annual Meeting.

 

We hope you will be able to think of individuals who would be excellent candidates for the above positions. 

 

Should you or a potential candidate wish further information on these positions, please refer to the job descriptions and nomination form available on the APHA Web site at: http://www.apha.org/about/gov/nominations/default.htm

 

If you are interested in running, we suggest you contact your APHA Section, SPIG, Caucus and/or Forum leadership to solicit their support and assistance with your nomination. 

 

All nominees for the Executive Board are selected from among the membership of the Association, except that the nominees for  Honorary Vice-President may include persons who are not members of the Association.

  

For more information on the Nominating Committee, contact Ida Plummer via e-mail at governance@apha.org.

 

TWENTIETH ANNUAL APHA PUBLIC HEALTH MATERIALS CONTEST 

The APHA Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section is soliciting your best health education, promotion and communication materials for its 20th annual competition. The contest provides a forum to showcase public health materials during the APHA Annual Meeting and recognizes professionals for their hard work.

 

All winners will be selected by panels of expert judges prior to the 138th APHA Annual Meeting in Denver. A session will be held at the Annual Meeting to recognize winners, during which one representative from the top materials selected in each category will give a presentation about their material.

 

Entries will be accepted in three categories: printed materials, electronic materials, and other materials. Entries for the contest are due March 26, 2010. Please contact Kira McGroarty for additional contest entry information.

Newsletter Submission Deadlines

Are you teaching an innovative public health nutrition course? Starting an exciting new project? Do you have a job opening or a conference you’d like to promote? Food and Nutrition Section members are encouraged to submit content to the newsletter, which is published three times per year. Please e-mail news, research updates, or announcements to the newsletter editor, Sarah Forrestal.  The spring deadline is June 11, and the fall deadline is September 17.