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Healthy Eating: Defining the Nutrient Quality of Foods

Lackey, Carolyn J. PhD, RD, LDN; Kolasa, Kathryn M. PhD, RD, LDN

Nutrition Communications

Today, many initiatives to promote healthy eating and physical activity focus on changing policy and the environment to improve the health, not only of motivated or high-risk individuals but also the entire population. The escalating rates of overweight/obesity and incidence of diet-related diseases/health conditions will require many interventions to influence change. Those wishing to affect policy and environmental changes are often faced with defining foods and beverages that meet criteria defined as “healthy.”

What healthy eating means is not so clear

Carolyn J. Lackey, PhD, RD, LDN, is Professor and Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina Cooperative Extension, North Carolina State University. Dr Lackey develops community food and nutrition programs and conducts research in food behavior change.

Kathryn M. Kolasa, PhD, RD, LDN, is Professor and Section Head, Nutrition Services and Patient Education, Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. Her research interests are in medical nutrition education and consumer nutrition education.

Corresponding author: Kathryn M. Kolasa, PhD, RD, LDN, Nutrition Education and Services, Department of Family Medicine, The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, 4N70 Brody, Greenville, NC 27858 (e-mail:

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.