- 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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Dec. 7, 2011
What food trends define the millennial generation?
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
When is the last time that you sat down to eat three square meals a day — or two or even one? If you are a "millennial" (born somewhere between 1980 and 2000) chances are you haven't had much experience with this ritual.
According to trend watchers, 35 percent of meals eaten by millennials are really snacks. Although the Pew Research Center describes this generation as "confident, connected and open to change," others have described them as driven by "cravings, cost and convenience."
The millennials now outnumber the baby boomers, and food marketers have taken notice. To entice this population they are:
- Promoting cereal as snack food, not just for breakfast
- Deconstructing sandwiches into faster food — nugget-sized pieces that can be popped into the mouth while on the run
- Combining foods traditionally served at breakfast, lunch and dinner, which has led to terms such as "linner," "brinner" and "slunch"
- Being open 24 hours a day, 7 day a week
- Making food more portable — have you ever "dashboard dined?"
As early as 2002, food businesses were targeting this generation with enticing food ads, product placements in TV shows, Hollywood-style commercials and novel ways to create brand loyalty.
It seems that this generation has been captured — and there are downstream health effects. In addition to being large in numbers, many millennials are large in size. One-third of those between the ages of 16 to 27 are overweight or obese. The eventual impact of obesity on health, employment, productivity, insurance costs and health care are greatly concerning.
Who's to blame? Food marketers? The boomers who raised the millennials? The millennials themselves? The pace of modern life? Lack of education about nutrition and health? I'm sure some blame falls in each of these areas — and others as well.
It is going to be a challenge to get millenials to eat healthier. The solutions for the "I-eat-what-I-want-when-I-want" generation will need to capitalize on this generation's traits (confident, connected, open to change) as well as what's driving them (cravings, cost, convenience). And the solutions will certainly need to be creative.
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