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February 2021 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
COVID-19, Heart Health, and Black Women

It’s been well established that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, and that African American women have higher rates of mortality than white women. Add COVID-19 to the mix, and the outcomes are even more dire.

In this month’s E-News Exclusive, Today’s Dietitian (TD) discusses the health disparities facing African American women in the age of COVID-19 and examines how the virus affects their heart health and overall outcomes compared with whites and other demographic populations.

After reading the article, visit TD’s website at to read the digital edition of the February issue, which includes in-depth articles on how COVID-19 impacts heart health, osteoporosis, dairy alternatives, nutrition support in Lyme disease treatment, and cultural humility in food and nutrition.

Don’t forget to check out where you can read and comment on blogs written by RDs for RDs. We’re welcoming new guest bloggers, so if you’re interested in writing, please contact me at the e-mail listed below.

Please enjoy the E-Newsletter and give us your feedback at, and don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

— Judith Riddle, editor
e-News Exclusive
Researchers Explore How COVID-19 Affects Heart Health in Black Women

Nearly one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, two things have become clear: The virus profoundly impacts people with heart disease and disproportionately impacts African Americans. But the many manifestations of these disparities remain unclear, particularly for one group regularly left out of medical research.

“African American women are often at the intersection of the worst economic and health disparities,” says Michelle Albert, MD, MPH, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “They are a group that is often overlooked.”

In a collaborative investigation with the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, Albert is leading a study to look at a cohort of women enrolled in the Black Women’s Health Study to determine the myriad ways in which COVID-19 is impacting them.

She says she chose to study this demographic because Black women often are at higher risk of heart disease than women in other demographic groups, and they’re shouldering an excessive burden during the pandemic.

African Americans with COVID-19 are nearly three times as likely to require hospitalization as white people with the disease, according to a recent study published in the journal Health Affairs. According to statistics compiled by the nonprofit American Public Media Research Lab, Black and Indigenous people die from COVID-19 at more than three to four times the rate of white people.

Full story »
Continuing Education
Learn about cancer and the alkaline diet in this month’s issue of Today’s Dietitian. Read the CPE Monthly article, take the 10-question online test at, and earn two CEUs!

Upcoming Live Webinars

Power Up Your Cells with NAD+ to Add Health to Years
Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 2–3 PM EST
Presented by Marie Spano, MS, RD, CSCS, CSSD
1 CEU FREE | Sponsored by TRU NIAGEN | ChromaDex Inc. was approved by the CDR to offer 1.0 CPEU for this webinar | Register Now »

How to Support Your Immune System During a Pandemic (and Beyond)
Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 2–3 PM EST
Presented by Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, LDN, CSO | 1 CEU FREE
Sponsored by Fresh Avocados - Love One Today | Register Now »

Recorded Webinars

PART 1: Navigating the 2021 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes: Lifestyle Modification for Adults with Type 2 Diabetes
Presented by Kathy Warwick, RDN, CDCES | 1 CEU | Access the Recording »

PART 2: Navigating the 2021 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes: Strategies for Prevention or Delay of Type 2 for Adults with Prediabetes
Presented by Kathy Warwick, RDN, CDCES | 1 CEU | Access the Recording »

The Top 10 Benefits of Pulses: From Lentils and Chickpeas to Dry Peas and Beans
Presented by Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RDN, FAND
| Sponsored by USA Pulses | Access the Recording »

An In-Depth Look at the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Presented by Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND | 1 CEU FREE | Sponsored by Fresh Avocados - Love One Today | Access the Recording »

Getting Better Zzzs to Prevent Disease
Presented by Karman Meyer, RD, LDN | 1 CEU | Access the Recording »

Ethics of Practice
Presented by Mindy Nelkin, D. Bioethics, RD, HEC-C | 1 Ethics CEU | Access the Recording »

Putting Plant-Based Menus into Practice in Healthcare Settings
Presented by Sarah Anderson, Anna Herby, RD, CDE, Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN, Jennifer Paul, MPH, RD, Lauren Pitts, MA, RD, Becky Ramsing, MPH, RDN, and John Stoddard, MS
1.5 CEUs for only $9.99 | Access the Recording »

Managing Sleep, Stress, and Mood
Presented by Chris Mohr, PhD, RD
1 CEU FREE | Sponsored by Nature Made | Access the Recording »

Recently Added Self-Study Courses

Eating to Combat Lyme Disease: Traditional and Alternative Interventions
The MIND Diet
Potential Therapeutic Benefits of Collagen Supplementation

2021 Spring Symposium

Explore the range of topics that will comprise the educational program for the 8th Annual Today's Dietitian Spring Symposium May 16–19. Meet our presenters and view their session abstracts.

Registration rates will be increasing soon!

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Ask the Expert
Have a dietetics-related question that you'd like our expert Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND, to answer? Email or send a tweet to @tobyamidor, and we may feature your query!
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In this e-Newsletter
Field Notes
COVID Unemployment Assistance Puts Food on the Table

Another wave of COVID-19 is putting millions out of work, while tens of millions more remain unemployed and Congress debates aid.

Now, a new Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) study shows that unemployment help directly translates to people being able to put food on the table.

The CARES Act—passed in March of 2020—expanded unemployment insurance coverage, amount, and duration.

Published in JAMA Network Open, the study finds that receiving unemployment insurance cuts a person’s risk of food insecurity by one-third, and halves the likelihood of needing to eat less because of financial constraints. And receiving more coverage, such as the weekly $600 supplement included in CARES until last July, means an even bigger reduction in the risk of going hungry.

“There has long been a need to improve the proportion of people covered, the duration of coverage, and the amount of coverage in our unemployment insurance system. This paper speaks to the critical role that unemployment insurance can play in preventing people from facing food insecurity during a crisis,” says study lead author Julia Raifman, ScD, SM, an assistant professor of health law, policy, and management at BUSPH.

Read more »
RD Lounge Blog
Tips to Alleviate Food Insecurity Amid COVID-19
Jena Tucci, RDN, LD, CNSC

According to the USDA Economic Research Service, 35.2 million people or 10.5% of households were food insecure some time during 2019. Food insecurity is defined as “the disruption of food intake or eating patterns because of lack of money and other resources.”

While national unemployment has declined to 6.3% per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s still significantly greater than the February 2020 rate of 3.5%. With an unemployment level this high, Americans who may not have been food insecure before the onset of COVID-19 are more likely to need food assistance.

Read more »
Other News
Nutrition Crisis Looms as Schools Remain Closed
In a recent publication, UNICEF warns of negative health consequences for the more than 370 million children globally who have missed billions of school meals amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

NIH Announces Large Precision Nutrition Study
In an effort to better understand individualized responses to food and dietary patterns, the National Institutes of Health is kicking off a five-year study of 10,000 Americans, as reported in Science magazine.
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In the March Issue

Medicinal Mushrooms

COVID-19 and the Role of Micronutrients

Today’s Dietitian’s 12th Annual TD10 Winners

Plant-Based Labels & Certifications

The Flexitarian Diet
Find solutions on our ToolKit Page
Tech & Tools
Food Diary Featuring Recipes
MyNetDiary, available free for Apple and Android, is a food and exercise tracking app that also provides recipes and weight loss and nutrition strategies and tips. The app can be customized to several common dietary patterns, such as vegan/vegetarian, Mediterranean, or high-protein, and tracks 40 nutrients and daily steps, with integration with a variety of wearable fitness trackers and apps. It also features a barcode scanner for packaged foods and a wide food database. Learn more »

Fitness App With Live Classes
The Shred app, available for Apple, is a fitness app that can be used in a gym or at home and features a variety of cardio and full-body strengthening workouts, as well as live classes in a variety of categories. Users can sign up for personal training and engage with other app users around the globe. Shred features connectivity with Spotify and Apple Music and an intelligent tracking system for workout progress and history informed by individual user feedback. Learn more »
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