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Achieve Better Health With Nutrient-Rich Foods

Drewnowski, Adam PhD; Hill, James O. PhD; Wansink, Brian PhD; Murray, Robert MD; Diekman, Connie MEd, RD, FADA

doi: 10.1097/NT.0b013e3182435dcd
Nutrition and Health Performance

Nutrition advice given to the American public has long focused on what nutrients and foods to avoid. However, the sustained efforts to improve diet quality and health outcomes have fallen short of their goals. Most Americans do not consume sufficient amounts of key nutrients that are important for health, and 2 of 3 adults are either overweight or obese. A more positive approach to dietary guidance is to create educational messages built around foods and nutrients to encourage. Positive, diet-centered advice based on nutrient-rich foods that contain relatively more nutrients than calories can help Americans improve their eating habits and achieve better health. Building on its 2004 symposium, the Nutrient Rich Foods Coalition’s 2009 symposium in Washington, DC, presented a scientifically validated metric for nutrient density and described educational tools to help communicate the importance of nutrient-rich foods to consumers.

Another look at nutrient-rich foods and their contributions

Adam Drewnowski, PhD, is the director of the Nutritional Sciences Program and a professor of epidemiology and adjunct professor of medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. He also serves as director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition and the Center for Obesity Research at the University of Washington and is a joint member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington.

James O. Hill, PhD, is a professor of pediatrics and medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver. He is the executive director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, director of the Center for Human Nutrition, and director of the Colorado Nutrition Obesity Research Center, Aurora, Colorado.

Brian Wansink, PhD, is the John Dyson Professor of Consumer Behavior at Cornell University and the director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

Robert Murray, MD, is a professor at the Department of Pediatrics of the Ohio State University School of Medicine and the director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio.

Connie Diekman, MEd, RD, FADA, is the director of the University Nutrition at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, and past president of the American Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics.

Source of support: Nutrient Rich Foods Coalition.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Adam Drewnowski, PhD, University of Washington at Seattle, 305-E Raitt Hall, Box 353410, Seattle, WA 98195 (

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.