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Time to Kick Start Healthy Eating

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Health makes headlines, but it’s the journey to “healthy” that challenges consumers.

The COVID pandemic has brought personal and community health to the forefront. It has made all of us more conscious of our behaviors, from hygiene to social distancing to paying more attention to what we consume.

Since 1980, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans has laid out a scientifically sound roadmap for healthy eating. The advice has been consistent, with updates as the science of food and nutrition evolves. Yet a persistent challenge remains: How can consumers translate the Guidelines into personal behavior change?

The full answer remains elusive, but the crisis of two pandemics, COVID and diabesity, has catapulted our personal and collective health to the forefront. A better understanding of consumer attitudes toward embracing the Guidelines may provide us not only with answers but with strategies and opportunities to encourage change. This event will

  • examine eating and shopping trends pre-COVID and during COVID.
  • provide insights on motivating behavior change.
  • examine food science and technology strategies to make the Dietary Guidelines come to life by making healthy food appealing and accessible for the long haul.
This event is in collaboration with the Institute of Food Technologists and the Department of Food Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and partially funded by United States Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food  Agriculture (grant number 2020-68015-31189).


Mary Christ ErwinMary Christ-Erwin, BS, EDPresident, MCE Food & Agriculture Consulting
A strategic partner of The Normandy Group, Mary has 35+ years of experience in influencer and consumer communications. She has been deeply involved in the development of communications strategies to clarify and manage issues in the areas of food and agriculture, including nutrition, obesity, and food safety.

Speakers and Panelists

Noel_Anderson_150Noel Anderson, PhDManaging Partner of Mosaic Food Advisors, IFT President
Noel Anderson is a life-long R&D professional with experience in product development, quality, and regulatory affairs.  Currently, he is Managing Partner of Mosaic Food Advisors, a consultancy that helps food and beverage start-up companies drive sustainable business growth.
Megan_Bame_150x150_Image-PostMegan Bame, MSExtension Associate, Communications at NC State University - Plants for Human Health Institute
Megan Bame provides communications and public relations expertise to NC State University's Plants for Human Health Institute and the North Carolina Food Innovation Lab, both located at the NC Research Campus. She works with faculty and staff to develop and execute a variety of strategic marketing communication plans and resources.
Roxi_Beck_150Roxi Beck, MAConsumer Engagement Director, Center for Food Integrity
An active speaker, trainer, facilitator and a trusted advisor to food system thought leaders, Roxi Beck helps audiences think differently about earning trust. As consumer engagement director for The Center for Food Integrity and vice president at Look East Consulting, Beck brings more than 15 years’ experience working with clients across the food system, directing strategy and activities for consumer-facing food and agriculture initiatives.
Eric_Decker_150Eric Decker, PhDProfessor and Head of the Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Dr. Decker is actively conducting research to characterize mechanisms of lipid oxidation, antioxidant protection of foods and the health implications of bioactive lipids. Dr. Decker has over 430 publications and he has been listed as one of the Most Highly Cited Scientists in Agriculture since 2005.
Janet_de_Jesus_150Janet M. de Jesus, MS, RDNutrition Advisor, Division of Prevention Science
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
HHS, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health

Ms. de Jesus is a Nutrition Advisor in the HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. She is the HHS lead of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 and participates in other crosscutting nutrition activities across the federal government.
Lynn Dornblaser Headshot - BW (1)Lynn Dornblaser, BSDirector Innovations & Insights, Mintel International Group Ltd.
Lynn Dornblaser brings more than 30 years of product trend knowledge to her work at Mintel, which she joined in 1998. She applies her unique perspective on the market and new product development to tailored client research and to extensive public speaking.
Gareth_Dutton_150Gareth R. Dutton, PhDProfessor, Division of Preventive Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Dr. Dutton has extensive expertise in behavioral and preventive medicine research focused on lifestyle interventions for obesity prevention and treatment. Dr. Dutton is a clinical psychologist and accomplished obesity researcher focusing his work on health-promoting lifestyle behaviors among high-risk and underserved minority populations.
Stephanie_Fu_150Stephenie Fu, BASenior Policy Advisor, USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
Stephenie Fu has focused her energy over more than 25 years on innovating for social causes and positive behavior change, particularly in food and nutrition. As Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), Ms. Fu provides drives strategic integration across CNPP to help advance its mission to improve the health and well-being of Americans by developing and promoting dietary guidance that links scientific research to the nutrition needs of consumers.
Geraldine_Henchy_150Geraldine Henchy, MPH, RDDirector of Nutrition Policy and Early Childhood Programs, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)
FRAC is a research, policy, public education, and advocacy center working for more effective public and private policies to eradicate domestic hunger and improve the nutrition and health of low-income individuals and families. Ms. Henchy is the author of the recently released publication “Making WIC Work Better: Strategies to Reach More Women and Children and Strengthen Benefits Use.”
Rosy_McGillan_150Rosemary McGillan, MAChief Marketing and Communication Office, American Red Cross
Rosy has spent 25 years developing and implementing integrated communications and marketing programs to drive social impact. Her specialties include developing strategies for industry, government and non-profit organizations seeking to change behavior around public health, community readiness and access to care.
Kevin_Miller_150Kevin Miller, PhDPrincipal Scientist, General Mills
Kevin Miller is a Principal Scientist in the Global Scientific and Regulatory Affairs team of General Mills’ Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition. In his role, Kevin is responsible for ensuring that General Mills' products comply with external and internal nutrition regulations and policies. Kevin also provides guidance to key company stakeholders with a focus on nutrition topics including whole grain, carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fortification.
Marisa_Miller_150Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LDRegistered Dietitian Nutritionist, Consultant, Health Writer, Spokesperson
Marisa is a nationally-recognized registered dietitian nutritionist and communications and culinary nutrition expert. Her integrative and practical approach to wellness and simple recipes coupled with science-based nutrition advice is regularly featured in leading media outlets including CNN, Women’s Health, Prevention, and many more.
Marianne_OShea_150Marianne O’Shea, PhDVice President, Health and Nutrition Sciences, PepsiCo
Marianne O’Shea is Vice President of Global Health and Nutrition Sciences for PepsiCo, leading a dynamic team of nutrition experts to guide the nutrition strategy fueling PepsiCo’s innovation and portfolio transformation journey. Marianne and her team collaborate with cross functional teams and business units worldwide to implement nutrition and health science programs that capitalize on our strengths and address gaps in PepsiCo’s portfolio.
Krystal_Register_150Krystal Register, MS, RDN, LDNDirector, Health and Well-being, FMI - The Food Industry Association
Krystal Register serves as the lead coordinator and issue expert for health and well-being programs and activities, nutrition policy, operations, and communication issues for FMI members and community collaborators. Krystal was a retail dietitian with Wegmans for 12 years and made significant contributions to company-wide wellness programs, health messaging, community events, and local media response in the National Capital Region.