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Letter from the President: Seven Ideas for a Healthy New Year

Susan Ungaro

January 07, 2015

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“Eat as if your life depends on it,” said Kathleen Frith, president of the nonprofit institute Glynwood and a speaker at the 2014 JBF Food Conference. As many of you know, the James Beard Foundation has been convening thought leaders and stakeholders from various sectors of the food industry for several years. In the past the conference has addressed topics such as hunger, trust, and how the media may influence what we ultimately eat. This past fall, our fifth JBF Food Conference explored the link between food and health and how better-quality food may be the key to a healthier America. As we begin 2015, I want to share with you seven great quotes from our conference speakers that can help guide us all to a healthier new year.

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1. “Families who eat at least five meals a week together are 20 percent less likely
to have children who are overweight.”

— Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., chair, medical ethics and health policy department at the University of Pennsylvania

2. “Real food does not make you sick.”

— Mark Bittman, author and journalist, The New York Times

3. “If you eat well and eat really good ingredients, your food should be delicious, and it should be joyful, and it should be about indulgence in a way that’s healthy—and celebratory.”

— Seamus Mullen, CEO/owner, Tertulia; and author, Hero Food

4. “If there is one thing I wish I could teach the American public, it’s that larger portions have more calories.”

— Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health, New York University

5. “It’s not enough to look at what we need to eat less of, we need to look at what we need to eat more of.”

— Chris Murray, director, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

6. “People on the Hill don’t like having lots of people calling them and visiting them at their offices. Engaged citizens have an impact.”

— Sam Kass, executive director of Let’s Move! and senior policy advisor for nutrition policy, the White House

7. “If I tell my patients to stop eating at Subway and start taking a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch every day, I’ve just cut their risk of dying from all-cause mortality by 25 percent.”

— Tim Harlan, M.D., assistant dean for clinical services at Tulane University School of Medicine; executive director, the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University