Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Nutrition Communications: Pyramid to Plate

After hearing my fellow interns speak highly of their rotation at The USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), I was excited for my turn. In the University of Maryland College Park Internship many of our rotations are referred to as acronyms (FSNE, IFIC, NAL, CNPP)  and sometimes its’ hard to keep them all straight.
Upon arrival to the USDA’s Alexandria, VA office I was assigned to work with the Nutrition Communications and Marketing Division. Within minutes of being there I was thrown into a team meeting to discuss social media strategy that included topics such as, next month’s Facebook editorial calendar, the newest MyPlate initiatives, and a new Pinterest Page. The CNPP staff sought and valued my opinion from the start and I knew I was in my element.
           The Nutrition Communications and Marketing Division at CNPP are extremely energetic and always striving for excellence. I was intrigued to learn that my preceptor, Jackie Haven, was hired to market the USDA’s first Food Pyramid and has been championing the campaign all the to The MyPlate today.

What started as a one-person team soon grew into a small independent agency tasked with transforming the science behind the dietary guidelines into consumer friendly messages.
            With the rise of social media 2.0 and the launch of the new MyPlate Facebook page it was an exciting time to be at CNPP.  Technology is changing so rapidly, impacting the way consumers learn and make decisions.  This means its critical time for the USDA to be key a player in the technology scene. I dove right into the social media projects during my time there and thoroughly enjoyed it. I will be keeping an eye out for nutrition communication jobs as I embark on my career search! Thanks CNPP!

For a brief history of the USDA Food Guides check out this link from ChooseMyPlate.gov: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food groups/downloads/MyPlate/ABriefHistoryOfUSDAFoodGuides.pdf

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