- With Mayo Clinic nutritionists
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.read biographyclose window
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.Katherine Zeratsky and Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer K. Nelson, M.S., R.D., L.D., C.N.S.D.
Jennifer Nelson is your link to a better diet. As specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, she plays a vital role in bringing you healthy recipes and meal planning.
"Nutrition is one way people have direct control over the quality of their lives," she says. "I hope to translate the science of nutrition into ways that people can select and prepare great-tasting foods that help maintain health and treat disease."
A St. Paul, Minn., native, she has been with Mayo Clinic since 1978, and is director of clinical dietetics and an associate professor of nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
She leads clinical nutrition efforts for a staff of more than 60 clinical dietitians and nine dietetic technicians and oversees nutrition services, staffing, strategic and financial planning, and quality improvement. Nelson was co-editor of the "Mayo Clinic Diet" and the James Beard Foundation Award-winning "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook." She has been a contributing author to and reviewer of many other Mayo Clinic books, including "Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody," "The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book" and "The Mayo Clinic/Williams Sonoma Cookbook." She contributes to the strategic direction of the Food & Nutrition Center, which includes creating recipes and menus, reviewing nutrition content of various articles, and providing expert answers to nutrition questions.
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, she is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She's active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
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March 19, 2010
Misleading food labels prompt FDA action
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
In the past few weeks, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent warnings to 17 manufacturers about false or misleading nutrition information on the food labels of 22 of their products. The products cited include juices, teas, ice creams, baby foods, olive oil, salad dressings and vegetable shortening.
Why is this important? More and more shoppers are using food labels to make important food choices — and we should expect food labels to be truthful, not misleading. At the very least, it's irritating to consume "extra light" olive oil thinking that "light" means lower in fat and calories only to find that it's only "light" in color or taste. At worst, it would be tragic to have a heart attack and discover that "trans-fat-free" foods high in saturated fat were clogging your arteries.
Examples of misleading claims on food labels include:
Claim: "Extra Light Olive Oil."
Violation: The term "light" is misleading because the fat content is not reduced by 50 percent compared to a similar appropriate reference food. (The manufacturer recently altered the label to read "Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil.")
Claim: "0 grams trans fat"
Violation: The products cited do not have disclosure statements alerting consumers that the products have significant levels of saturated and total fat.
Claim: "No added refined sugar," "Plus fiber" or "Plus calcium" on baby food labels
Violation: Nutrient claims are not allowed on products intended for children younger than 2 years of age because dietary levels have not been established for this age group.
Manufacturers were given 15 days to inform the FDA about their plans to correct the violations. If the response is not satisfactory, the result could be injunctions against the manufacturers including product seizures.
I'm glad to see the FDA stepping up to enforce truth in labeling. What's your take? What do you find confusing about food labels?
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