January 2015 Issue

New Year, Greater Anticipation
By Judy Riddle
Today's Dietitian
Vol. 17 No. 1 P. 4

The year 2014 has come to a quick close, and a new year of professional challenges and opportunities for dietitians has begun. Over the past year, many important issues and hot topics took center stage in the dietetics field and will continue to grab headlines well into 2015. Some of the most significant trends and topics were plant-based diets, worksite wellness, new federal school nutrition initiatives, trans fats, genetically modified organisms, hospital malnutrition, the Nutrition Facts label, innovative sustainability programs, the link between saturated fat and heart disease, the sodium controversy, and the much-anticipated 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that's expected to be published this fall.

Some of the more exciting research taking place involves mapping the gut microbiome and examining the association between the gut microbiota and digestive diseases, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, and the role optimal nutrition plays in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive health as a whole. Research on emerging diabetes medications such as DPP-4 inhibitors, ultra long-acting insulins, and GLP-1 agonists is under way in addition to new developments in diabetes self-management technologies, including the introduction of more sophisticated handheld, mobile-enabled devices and online services, blood glucose meters, and integrated insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring systems, to name a few.

In 2015, dietitians anticipate the FDA's final decision on the updated Nutrition Facts label, which could include line items for added sugars; new DVs for sodium, dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamin D; as well as serving size modifications. And they await the FDA's final ruling on the proposed trans fat ban that already has food manufacturers scurrying to find substitutes to keep their products looking and tasting great.

This month Today's Dietitian is covering a hot topic in the nutrition field in the feature article "Corporate Sponsorships" on page 34. Written by our Nutrition Editor Sharon Palmer, RDN, the article is the first in a two-part series that examines the complex relationship between the food industry and the dietetics profession. Read the other articles on the top 10 ways to boost your career in 2015, blenderized whole foods for home tube feeding, alternative natural sweeteners, and the gamification of weight loss, and tell us what you think of them on Facebook and Twitter. Please enjoy the issue!

Judith Riddle