Monday, February 10, 2014

A Great “Day 1” Experience at IFIC

My first Information Technology rotation was at the International Food and Information Council (IFIC). IFIC is a non-profit organization located in Washington DC that communicates evidence based nutrition, and food safety information to media, educators, and health professionals.  While there, I spent time writing blogs, face book posts, tweets, creating infographics and a media campaign. In addition to a great three weeks rotation, working with an amazing group of professionals, I had a great “Day 1” experience at IFIC. 

As new interns, my internship partner and I were given the opportunity to attend the Roundtable for Obesity Solutions held by the Institute of Medicine. I was excited to be a part of a group of professions who came together to discuss the obesity epidemic, review current initiatives and highlight new ideas and solutions.

The roundtable began with sharing recent statistics presenting the obesity problem across the nation. According to current statistics, although there are initiatives in place to fight the obesity issue, these programs do not combat obesity on a universal level. Four focus groups from Early Childcare and Education, Schools, Corporate Wellness, and Health care and Insurance were part of the discussion. Each group provided brief comments on the obesity issue and presented actionable solutions. Some solutions that stood out to me included:

Corporate Wellness Initiatives like
Free fruits and vegetables for employee
Decrease Salad-Bar prices to encourage fruit and vegetable consumption
Innovative strategies to incorporate physical activity into the workplace

Health Insurance providers suggested
Greater use of behavior modification techniques to counsel patients
Higher focus on prevention, not treatment of obesity

The need for more nutrition education programs like
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Education
School Garden

The Need for effective polices that can
Be sustained
Be implemented into a variety of communities
Have measurable outcomes

Greater leadership in healthcare settings and communities for sustainable change by
Working closely with their community members
Setting examples for every day healthy living

As the session came to an end, I was filled with new knowledge and ideas about how to more successfully confront the obesity issue. I learned that community action such as worship center and park and recreation involvement will be needed for sustainable change. I felt inspired by a quote from Dr. Howard Koh, Director of Health and Human Services: "Health starts where people live, labor, learn, play, and pray." As a part of how to tackle obesity, I learned that change in health-care is not enough and that all aspects of peoples' lives must be involved.


  1. Learning more about ways to combat obesity is so important. Thank you for sharing!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.