By IDFA – October 14, 2011
Last week I returned from the world’s largest meeting of food and nutrition professionals, the American Dietetic Association’s (ADA’s) Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE). I was glad to see a number of colleagues there, including some of IDFA’s members. FNCE is useful to me as a resource for identifying hot trends in food and nutrition and as a way to get a different perspective on nutrition issues.
Based on my observations at FNCE, here are my thoughts on some of the trends and issues in nutrition:
- Concerns about role of food industry and processed foods in American diet. Both formal sessions and social media comments of RDs attending FNCE demonstrated that many RDs have significant concerns about the nutritional value of foods made available to Americans and about the actions of the food companies that make these products.
- Natural and gluten free. Many sessions explored the implications of gluten-free diets, while the Expo floor had special areas devoted to natural and gluten-free foods.
- Sodium. Lower sodium products were prominently displayed at the Expo and sessions focused on how to help Americans meet the sodium levels recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- Vitamin D. Vitamin D continues to get a lot of positive attention, and dairy foods continue to be mentioned as good sources of vitamin D for Americans.
Big announcements that took place at the meeting included new standards for the American Heart Association’s heart check labeling icon and the upcoming name change for ADA. As of January 2012, ADA will be known as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
What do you think are the big trends in the area of nutrition? If you attended FNCE, do you think these trends were reflected by what you saw at the conference?