August 23, 2000 | By: Laura Skillman

People with good cooking skills and grocery shopping habits are most likely to eat healthy.

Women are more likely to eat healthy than men.

The older you get, the more likely you are to eat five fruits and vegetables a day.

This information is in Feeling Good About Food, one of a five-part program, Nutrition 2000, developed by University of Kentucky Family and Consumer Science food and nutrition specialist Janet Tietyen.

Feeling Good About Food takes a look at who is most likely to eat healthy and what motivates people to choose the foods they eat. It is the fifth in the series of Nutrition 2000 publications developed by Tietyen.

While attending the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Millennium Symposium, Tietyen heard presentations from psychologists and behavioral scientists about why consumers choose the foods they eat. Research shows that those most educated about nutrition are not necessarily the most nutritious eaters. It was those who were good shoppers and prepare foods regularly who were more likely to be the healthy eaters.

"We used to think if we just told people what nutrition research shows you should eat, people would do it," she said. "We've found knowing what to eat and actually doing it are two different things."

Today, nutritional information must also show people how to eat properly and to be active.

America's relationships with food has changed. Access to food is more convenient today. We are eating out more and cooking less. And portions have gone from small, medium and large to super and mega sizes. All this comes at a time when people are less active in their daily lives than the generations before them.

The program offers some tidbits on how to get a healthier attitude about food including enjoying the food you eat, choosing foods you enjoy, eating the right amount, becoming active and being social.

Nancy Kelley, Hopkins County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences, recently used the Feeling Good About Food segment as an inservice program for about 200 school cafeteria workers.

Other segments in the five-part series discuss the nutritional needs for successful aging and for men and women.

"As we learn more about nutrition, we are learning that one size does not meet the needs of everyone," Tietyen said. "There are gender differences."

The program on nutrition for successful aging was developed for a coalition of senior citizens in Fayette County who wanted to know why nutrition was important. Nutritional research has shown that proper eating habits along with an active lifestyle can help people feel better longer.

A final segment, Foods for the 21st Century, discusses the change from the traditional recommended dietary allowances to a new set of reference values called dietary reference intakes. The DRIs are organized into seven nutrient groups that include such items as calcium, antioxidants and trace elements.

The segment discusses nutritional elements, called phytochemicals, found in plants that can help fight various diseases like cancer, heart disease, arthritis and diabetes and how to make these a part of your diet in the 21st Century.

The program is designed for the Cooperative Extension Service to be used by county agents to educate adults in their communities on the latest nutritional information and how to use it. For more information on nutrition contact the Extension service.


Janet Tietyen, (859) 257-1812