Thursday, December 1, 2011

Medicare coverage for obesity counseling decision

From the American Dietetic Association
CMS’s Final Decision on Intensive Behavioral Counseling for Obesity December 1, 2011

The American Dietetic Association understands and shares members’ concerns about the announcement by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Tuesday, November 29 about their decision to cover Intensive Behavioral Counseling for Obesity for eligible Medicare beneficiaries. We’d like to share the following information in an effort to answer member questions about this decision and what it means for Registered Dietitians (RDs).

How did CMS make this decision?
Through the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA), CMS has the authority to add coverage of additional preventive services under a process called a National Coverage Determination. This process is not a legislative one, meaning the decision is not made through Congress. Rather, CMS is the decision-making body. CMS is required to evaluate relevant clinical evidence to determine whether or not the proposed service meets three criteria:
1. Reasonable and necessary for the prevention or early detection of illness or disability;
2. Is recommended with a Grade A or B by the US Preventive Services Task Force; and
3. Is appropriate for individuals entitled to benefits under Part A or enrolled under Part B of the Medicare program.

The process includes two opportunities for public comment. On March 11, 2011 CMS announced it was opening a national coverage analysis for Intensive Behavioral Therapy for Obesity with a 30-day public comment period. On August 31, 2011 CMS issued its proposed decision memorandum with a 30-day comment period.

Was ADA involved?
Definitely! ADA offered comments during both public comment periods. These comments incorporated input from members with expertise in weight management services and were reviewed and approved by member leaders. Visit and scroll down to “Medicare MNT Coverage Expansion” to read more. In November ADA also met with CMS staff, along with other members of the Obesity Care Coalition, to advocate for inclusion of RDs in the proposed benefit.

What exactly did CMS decide to cover?
CMS determined it will cover screening and intensive behavioral counseling for obesity by primary care providers in settings such as physicians’ offices for Medicare beneficiaries with a body mass index (BMI) > 30 kg/m2. Specifically, Medicare will cover:
• One face-to-face visit every week for the first month;
• One face-to-face visit every other week for months 2-6;
• One face-to-face visit every month for months 7-12, if the beneficiary has achieved a reduction in weight of at least 3kg over the course of the first six months of intensive therapy.

The service must be furnished by a “qualified primary care physician or other primary care practitioner and in a primary care setting.” CMS refers to the Social Security Act for its definition of a “qualified primary care physician” to mean a physician who is a general practitioner, family practice practitioner, general internist or obstetrician or gynecologist. In similar manner, CMS defines “primary care practitioner” as a physician with a primary specialty designation of family medicine, internal medicine, geriatric medicine or pediatric medicine or a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or physician assistant in accordance with the Social Security Act.

Lastly, the service must be furnished in the primary care setting. CMS defines a primary care setting “as one in which there is provision of integrated, accessible health care services by clinicians who are accountable for addressing a large majority of personal health care needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community. Emergency departments, inpatient hospital settings, ambulatory surgical centers, independent diagnostic testing facilities, skilled nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and hospices are not considered primary care settings under this definition.”

What was the rationale behind CMS’s decision to not include RDs as providers of these services?
Based on CMS’s responses to public comments in this final decision memo as well as the one issued earlier this month for Intensive Behavioral Counseling for Cardiovascular Disease, it appears that CMS excluded RDs for two reasons:
1. CMS believes it lacks the statutory authority to include RDs as providers outside of diabetes and end stage renal disease; and
2. CMS believes it is important that preventive services be furnished in a coordinated approach as part of a comprehensive prevention plan within the context of the patient’s total health care. As such, they believe primary care practitioners are best qualified to offer care in this context.

How will these services be paid and when does the benefit become effective?
The answers to these questions have yet to be determined. CMS is in the process of establishing codes and developing the claims processing instructions for this NCD.

What do we do now?
As individual practitioners: RDs as providers of nutrition services have 2 options when it comes to obesity services for Part B Medicare beneficiaries:
1. The CMS decision memorandum does state that the new benefit does not preclude primary care practitioners from referring eligible beneficiaries to other practitioners and/or settings for counseling; however coverage remains only in the primary care setting. So RDs can receive referrals for these services, but the Medicare beneficiary would need to be informed prior to providing the service that it is not covered by Medicare and they would be required to pay out of pocket for the service.
2. The CMS decision memorandum also states that in the primary care office setting and primary care hospital outpatient setting, Medicare may cover these services when furnished by auxiliary personnel (e.g., RDs) and billed as “incident to” services in accordance with 42 CFR section 410.26(b) or 410.27, meaning:
a. There is direct physician supervision of auxiliary personnel (the physician must be present in the office suite and immediately available to provide assistance and direction throughout the time the service is being provided).
b. “Auxiliary personnel” means any individual who is acting under the supervision of a physician, regardless of whether the individual is an employee, leased employee, or independent contractor of the physician, or of the legal entity that employs or contracts with the physician. Note: Medicare Part B MNT services for diabetes and non-dialysis renal disease cannot be billed as “incident to” services since they are recognized as a separate benefit category.

We recognize that both of these options fall short of the ideal scenario. However, as healthcare delivery and payment models move away from fee-for-service to bundled payment models (such as Patient-Centered Medical Homes and Accountable Care Organizations), now is a good time for RDs to align themselves with primary care practitioners in new ways. Continue to market yourself and your services to both primary care practitioners and Medicare beneficiaries to create demand for your services and demonstrate the value you bring to a comprehensive and coordinated model of care. As an RD, you can positively impact a practice’s bottom line by helping patients and the practice achieve positive clinical outcomes. Most importantly, you can collect, report, and publish outcomes data to strengthen the foundation of clinical evidence used by CMS and others in making coverage decisions.

As ADA: The Nutrition Services Coverage team and the Policy Initiatives and Advocacy team are strategically working to position RDs as providers of MNT in other disease conditions through a variety of initiatives. With this new insight into CMS’s approach to expanding coverage, we are exploring potential strategies on both the legislative and regulatory fronts. We will continue to share information with members through all available communication channels.

Click here to read the full CMS Final Decision Memorandum.
Nutrition Services Coverage Team

Note: This message was posted on behalf of Roberta Anding, SCAN's representative to the House of Delegates.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tech tools to expand services & increase visibility

Denice Ferko-Adams, a SCAN member, was recognized for her Dynamic Initiative in Dietetics Practice and Education display at FNCE 2011 in San Diego. Her topic was "Tech Tools to Expand Services & Increase Validity."

Here is Denice's abstract:

Tech Tools to Expand Services & Increase Validity

We all lead busy lives. Using technology to stay in touch with clients can improve eating and exercise compliance and create new business opportunities. Denice Ferko-Adams, president of Wellness Press, will review the evidence behind keeping food records and demonstrate ways that technology can be used to enhance effectiveness of nutrition services. Participants will see examples of ways to use an interactive software tool, MealLogger: clients use their phones to take photos of meals and interact online with their dietitian. The service is being used by hospitals, universities, corporate wellness service providers, fitness clubs and individual dietitians both in the US and in Europe. Select case studies will be reviewed. See how technology can change how you provide nutrition counseling services, track data to show outcomes, and expand ways to generate new revenue for your business.

Congratulations to Denice. Has anyone who reads this blog used Meallogger or a similar tool? If so, feel free to post your experiences or questions. Best, Marie

Marie Dunford, PhD, RD

SCAN's Volunteer Web Editor

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Teens Eat Right—A FREE resource for teachers

SCAN is pleased to offer another FREE resource—Teens Eat Right. Teens Eat Right is a slide presentation with notes, cleverly developed handouts, and a quiz with answer key. It was developed to help teachers (and others who interface with teenagers) to help teens make healthy food choices. It can be ordered and downloaded free of charge here:

The slides and lesson plans were developed by Carol Lapin, MS, RD, CSSD, who is also co-director of SCAN's Wellness and Cardiovascular RDs subunit. Carol is a former high school teacher so she knows what grabs kids' attention. I call Carol the "rabbit" partly because she is always sniffing around finding new ideas (also because lapin is the French word for rabbit). Here's a sample of one of the slides:

There are notes for each slide and the data included were collected by Alicia Moag-Stahlberg, MS, RD, CSSD. Several people were involved in helping with the handouts including Pamela Nisevich Bede, MS, RD, CSSD, Linda Steakley, MS, RD, LD, Donna Bassi, RD, LDN, Maureen Mason, MS, RD, Jill Hobbs, MS, RD, LDH and Jill Eagen, MPH, RD (If I've forgotten anyone let me know, but blame Carol).

The Teens Eat Right materials are intended to be humorous with images that catch the eye and make you laugh (don't miss the toddler looking for food in the refrigerator). However, we all know the seriousness of the problem and this can help engage teens on the topic of healthy eating. SCAN hopes this will be a valuable resource for teachers and dietitians; Please tell a colleague that it is available.

Teens Eat Right—IBIWISI (I'll Believe It When I See It)—but maybe this will help move us towards our goal. Best, Marie

Marie Dunford, PhD, RD
SCAN's volunteer web editor

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sign up for SCAN events at FNCE

Sign up for SCAN events at FNCE. They're FREE and there's food!

If you are going to be at FNCE, SCAN has several FREE events. You will need to register for some of them because the number of seats available is limited due to the size of the room or because enough food needs to be ordered. This page on the SCAN website contains all the information that you need: Be sure to scroll down so that you can see all of the events. Breakfasts, receptions, spotlight sessions...and much more.

I've been attending FNCE for a long time (my first one was in 1974, before it was named FNCE) and I've developed a strategy that works for me. I stay at a hotel about a mile from the convention center so that I can walk to and from the main venue. Exercise is built into the day and it is fun to see and hear a city wake up. San Diego Convention center is located on the harbor. I grew up in a beach town in southern California and an early morning walk along the water is a wonderful way to start the day.

Attending a breakfast gets my day started right. I hear good speakers, earn CPEUs, and get to sit down to eat a healthy meal (as opposed to grazing my way through the exhibits). It's also nice to see colleagues--so much of my work is done through electronic communications and it is nice to have the human contact. Of course, the down side to breakfast is actually having to get out of bed, get dressed, and get there, but it is easier for most of us when the host city is on Pacific time.

I'm planning on being at all the SCAN events at FNCE. If you see me there, please say hello.

Best, Marie

Marie Dunford, PhD, RD
SCAN's volunteer web editor

Monday, July 25, 2011

New Resources for You

Two more resources available--Check them out!

Healthy Snacking for Smoking Cessation is a new handout created by the Wellness and Cardiovascular RDs (Wellness/CV) subunit. This concisely written and smartly designed handout is great for use with individual clients as well as at health fairs. Print a copy from the SCAN website free of charge.

The Disordered Eating and Eating Disorders (DEED) subunit has updated their professional resources page. It includes links to professional organizations, resources for the public, and help with finding treatment providers. It is a treasure trove of information.

In fact, all three subunits (Wellness/CV, DEED, and Sports Dietetics—USA) are in the process of reviewing website pages and updating the information that appears. The SCAN website is dedicated to timely and accurate information for members and non-members, so stay tuned for more updates.

Best, Marie

Marie Dunford, PhD, RD
SCAN's volunteer web editor

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Is it the salt shaker?

Check out this comprehensive update on sodium and hypertension...

SCAN members have access to the Spring/Summer 2011 Public Health Community Nutrition (PHCN) newsletter, Digest, which is devoted to an update on sodium and high blood pressure. This beautifully designed and well-written newsletter reflects the "Spectrum of Prevention" framework that focuses on more than just the individual. Acknowledging that the addition of salt to food by the individual is no longer the primary source of sodium for most Americans, a new model has emerged to help positively influence sodium intake. Think globally, act locally...

Two SCAN members were guest contributors, Jessica Lee Levings, MS, RD, LD and Carol Lapin, MS, RD, CSSD, LD. Their articles, along with those written by PHCN members, are available here:

Note: You must be signed into the SCAN website to access this newsletter. Best, Marie

Marie Dunford, PhD, RD
SCAN's volunteer web editor

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Miles of Smiles for Ellen Coleman

Ellen Coleman, MA, MPH, RD, CSSD, a founding member of SCAN, has been chosen to receive a 2011 Medallion Award, one of the American Dietetics Association's (ADA) highest honors.

This award "honors ADA members who have shown dedication to the high standards of the dietetics profession through active participation, leadership, and devotion to serving others in dietetics and allied health fields."

Ellen Coleman is synonymous with sports nutrition. When I first began teaching at Fresno State in the early 1980s, the student dietetic association wanted to sponsor a speaker in the emerging area of nutrition and athletic performance. Ellen was already the go to person. She was animated, funny, and very smart. She started her talk by telling the group an important lesson she had learned as a graduate student at UC Davis: Never come in late or you will be the one chosen to participate in the next experiment that requires a rectal temperature (Everyone laughed, but I did notice that students were more attentive to coming to class on time that semester). I was so impressed with her knowledge of physiology and the way she could explain the basis for each sports nutrition recommendation. But Ellen was more than book smart—she knew about sports nutrition from personal experience, having finished the Ironman Hawaii (twice).

As new fields emerge, so do its leaders. Those leaders have to make a choice—do they primarily promote themselves or do they focus on helping others and, in doing so, ensure that the entire profession is strengthened? Ellen has always focused on mentoring others. In the sometimes dog-eat-dog world of sports nutrition, Ellen has set the standard for selflessness.

I still have a signed copy of Ellen's 1988 book, Eating for Endurance. It is a slim 150 pages, but it contains pretty much all that was known at the time about what was needed to support endurance performance (a bargain at $8.95!). In the front she wrote, "Miles of Smiles!" a phrase she still uses today. When she handed it back to me, she encouraged me to pursue the field of sports nutrition. Fast forward to an email message she sent just last week in which she encouraged me to pursue my newest dream--hiking the GR 10 (a French hiking trail that runs the length of the Pyrenees). Ellen has encouraged so many of us over the years to pursue our professional and personal goals.

More than encouraged, she has inspired. And there is no greater inspiration than her perseverance in the greatest test of her life ( It's no surprise that her account starts with this: "Well, I broke the first rule of hiking—never end up on the 5 PM news." because Ellen never loses her sense of humor.

Miles of smiles, Ellen, and congratulations on receiving the 2011 Medallion Award. Best, Marie

Marie Dunford, PhD, RD
SCAN's volunteer Web Editor

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New resource on the SCAN website

Need a resource to help consumers apply the 2010 Dietary Guidelines? SCAN has got you covered! Check out 10 Simple Steps to Make Good Habits More Delicious.

Click here to see SCAN's latest resource. You can view this new guide online, download it to your desktop, or order one packet containing 20 printed guides. Flipping through the book is fun, just use the arrows at the bottom of the page. You can also navigate the flip book by using the green bar on the left hand side of the page. That's where you'll find the download option.

Want to download the offline version? Click on the first tab at the top of the green navigation bar on the left hand side of the page. Choose either Windows or Mac format to download the application needed to use all the flip book features. If you'd rather just have a pdf of the guidebook, click on PDF. The guidebook is 12 MB; the time that it takes to download will depend on the speed of your internet connection.

Do you need printed guides to hand out to patients or clients? If so, click on the green ADD TO CART button, where you will be able to order one packet containing 20 printed guides. This offer is FREE of charge to all dietitians. The 10 Simple Steps to Make Good Habits More Delicious was made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Unilever soft spread brands, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!®, Shedd’s Spread Country Crock® and Promise® Buttery Spread.

If you have any technical problems, please contact the SCAN office at As always, you are welcome to post questions or comments to this blog. Best, Marie

Marie Dunford, PhD, RD
SCAN's volunteer Web Editor

Monday, April 18, 2011

Athletes Avoiding Gluten

Gluten free is a dietary lifestyle with a growing number of products designed for people suffering from celiac diseases who risk damage to their gut if gluten is ingested. Certified gluten free packaged goods provide a seal of assurance that the grains and process specifications for these products are safe for celiac sufferers. Although the purchaser can feel confident that they are not risking their health in many cases they are paying 2x's the amount for daily staples such as bread and cereal.

Now researchers at the University of Maryland's Center for Celiac Research estimate that one out of every 20 people has gluten intolerance. Classified as a separate condition from celiac disease, people commonly referred to as gluten intolerant or gluten sensitive present symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, fatigue, anemia, weight loss and other symptoms similar to celiac disease. Products that may trigger the response in a celiac patient may not in a person with gluten intolerance.

The athlete avoiding gluten because of celiac disease or gluten intolerance is looking for easy, convenient, and nutritious foods that can give them complex carbohydrate fuel. As practitioners we can advise these athletes to make simple culinary swaps such as potatoes for pasta, rice for couscous and cornstarch for flour. However, when they are shopping in their local market they may need some extra help and one that I have found to be very useful is the Gluten Free Grocery Shopping Guide 2011-2012 Edition by Dr. Mara Matison & Mr. Dainis Matison. One thing that needs reinforcement is that the athlete should not avoid ALL carbohydrates, especially while training, but become better educated on how to find palatable choices that deliver their fiber, B vitamin, folate and iron requirements.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and NUTRITION

I'd forgotten about the 50 yard dash, but I can remember the excitement at my grade school about the President's Council on Physical Fitness, championed by then President John F. Kennedy. To now have nutrition as part of the name is exciting and to have three SCAN members represented on the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition (PCFSN) science board is wonderful.

I'm not old enough to remember President Eisenhower's creation of the President's Council on Youth Fitness, but it was started to encourage American children to be as physically fit as their European counterparts. I do remember the first name change and the emphasis that was put on fitness by President Kennedy. He was a young president and seemed full of energy. And I'm pleased that in June 2010, President Obama's executive order added nutrition to the name. The order reads, in part, " recognize that good nutrition goes hand in hand with fitness and sports participation..."

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and former Olympian Dominique Dawes are the new co-chairs. What's exciting for SCAN is the addition of three of our members to the PCFSN Science Board:
  • Linda Houtkooper, PhD, RD
  • Melinda Manore, PhD, RD, CSSD
  • Stella Volpe, PhD, RD, LDN
You can read their bios and the bios of the other Science Board members here. Congratulations to Linda, Melinda, and Stella for their many accomplishments, including this new appointment.

Marie Dunford, PhD, RD
SCAN's volunteer web editor

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Top 10 Reasons...

Top 10 reasons to take advantage of being a SCAN member and plug your information into the Find a SCAN RD section of the SCAN website (Thanks to Jenna Bell, PhD, RD, CSSD).

You may think that you don't want to be found, but think are the top 10 reasons to add your info NOW:

10. Consumers need your advice and they don't sell RDs at the supermarket.
9. Athletes need you to help them perform better.
8. Coaches are confused by nutrition.
7. A professional organization wants YOU to speak at their next conference.
6. A publication wants to quote you for their next great piece.
5. Magazines and newsletters want you to write for them.
4. Doctors don't know where to find dietitians.
3. Fitness clubs have their personal trainers do nutrition because you're no where to be found!
2. A company wants your services to help them with their latest product.

I've posted instructions below for changing the information that shows on your Find a SCAN RD profile. For those of you who DO NOT want to be listed in the Find a SCAN RD feature, there is an option for opting out. Just a reminder, if you make any changes be sure to click on the SAVE button.

Have you been contacted through the Find a SCAN RD feature? If so, you might want to write about your experiences by posting a comment to this blog. Best, Marie

Marie Dunford, PhD, RD
SCAN's Volunteer Web Editor

To update MyProfile (the place to change your Find a SCAN RD profile, opt out of Find a SCAN RD, and sign up for a subunit):
Sign in as a member on the SCAN website
Click on My Profile (located to the right of where it says Welcome [your name])
Note: There are three green EDIT buttons on this page

To edit General Information, Contact Information or Membership Details:
Click on the green edit button located directly above Member Profile (you may have to scroll down)

If you want your address, city, state, email, etc. to be public and show in FIND a SCAN RD, click on the Is Public box next to the ones you want public. For privacy reasons, only you can make your contact info public.

If you want an active link to your website, put your URL in the website field, located under Fax Number

If you want an area of expertise to show up in Find a SCAN RD, click on the box(es)

If you want to join one or more of the subunits, click on the appropriate box(es)

You may specify services offered (e.g., individual and group counseling)

If you DO NOT want to be listed in the Find a SCAN RD feature, click on the Exclude from Find a SCAN RD Search box

If you make ANY changes be sure to click on the SAVE button

To edit Member Profile (This is the About Me section on Find a SCAN RD):
Click on the green edit button located right under Member Profile
A yellow shaded box comes up and you can add written info there
If you make ANY changes be sure to click on the SAVE button

To add/edit a picture or image:
To add or edit a picture or an image (personal photo, logo, etc.,) click on Change (located under the image box)
Select a file to upload (a dialog box appears)

To add/edit your social networking information:
Click on the green edit button located under Blogger:
If you want to add social networking sites, enter the full URL for any of your social networks
If you make ANY changes be sure to click on the SAVE button

Tip: Once you make changes to MyProfile, go to Find a SCAN RD, enter your zip code, and view the changes that you made.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SCAN Symposium keynote speakers were on fire!

The SCAN Symposium keynote speakers certainly lived up to their top billing.

Louise Burke (far left) opened the 2011 symposium on Friday with her presentation, Fueling Athletes with Carbs: From Research to Practice. What I love about hearing Louise speak is that first and foremost she is evidenced-based. However, so many aspects of sports nutrition have not been studied extensively (or at all). Faced with that void, she gives thought to what we might tell athletes now. No one does research to practice better than Dr. Burke. One take home message: match intake to functionality. A sliding scale for carbohydrate intake based on intensity and duration of training makes sense.

On Saturday, Michael Roizen, MD from the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute gave an interesting presentation that got the audience thinking and talking. One message was that moderation doesn't work. He told the crowd about being in the green room prior to an appearance on a morning TV show in Canada. Another of the show's guests was there and reached for a donut. Dr. Roizen described grabbing his arm, grabbing the donut, throwing it on the floor and stepping on it. It got me to wondering--if dietitians took this approach would we be praised for our passion or be scorned and scolded as being diet police?

The Sunday keynote speaker did not disappoint. Dr. John Hawley gave a brilliant presentation titled, How Low Can You Go? Training-Nutrient Periodization for Endurance Performance. I wish I had the ability to present information so clearly and precisely. The talk was humorous and engaging, particularly appreciated since we'd all lost an hour with the time change. He too suggested the benefit of a sliding scale for carbohydrate intake that is closely matched to the athlete's training and recovery schedule. Dr. Hawley reviewed some of the evidence in support of low carbohydrate availability and the promotion of endurance training adaptations. Of course, more research is needed to determine if these manipulations and adaptations result in improved endurance performance. To translate the research to practice, we'll look to his wife and colleague, Dr. Burke.

If you have a comment about any of the sessions, please feel free to post. Best, Marie

Marie Dunford, PhD, RD
SCAN's volunteer web editor

Sunday, March 13, 2011

SCAN symposium gathers champions

This year at the SCAN symposium in Chicago I noticed a few new things about the professionals surrounding me:

1. The traditional dietitian is becoming increasingly diverse and specialized, which shows that adaptability is a valuable skill set for all nutrition professionals. Whether it be working for the US military or a high school soccer coach there is no telling where your career may lead you.

2. As much as I enjoy the larger FNCE meeting, this trip in particular I was very motivated to connect in a different way. I spent time talking to interested SCAN'ers at the Member Cafe who signed up for volunteering opportunities and shared stories of their journeys to the present. I walked away feeling more inspired and positive about the association that we all share with SCAN.

3. In Louise Burke's presentation she ended with the thought that "we have gone where the research has led us, we should be asking the questions first and then going out to do the research". Who better to come up with those hypothesis than the dietitians working with patients, athletes and community members? It's an empowering message and this audience in particular is primed to lead research of this kind into action.

4. Lastly, it was refreshing to be in easy to navigate, peaceful enviroment. From the silent auction to the healthy snacking sponsored breaks to morning exercises, I appreciated that thought was put into how attendees were feeling as well as learning.

Thank you to the SCAN Symposium committee members for creating a wonderful meeting!

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Bag of Goodies From SCAN Symposium

SCAN Symposium is a bag of goodies--literally and figurately.

Upon check in each attendee received a big purple bag FILLED with goodies.

There's Gatorade 02 Perform, 03 Recover, and 01 Prime energy bites...Ironman Perform and two enegry bars from PowerBar...Rockin' Refuel...Detour bar...Tera's Whey and BiPro whey supplements...Omega-3 soft gels.

Other goodies include: Welch's grape juice, CALIFORNIA almonds, dried cherries, cheerios (regular and honey nut)and Lipton tea. Lip balm from saved my life as I had forgotten to bring mine (still in the pocket of my tennis bag).

A nice surprise was the measuring cups (from Unilever) and measuring spoons (from Canola). I was on a cooking frenzy before I left and I found myself thinking I needed more measuring cups and spoons. Voila, they appeared in my SCAN bag and will make their way home to my kitchen.

And then there are the inserts! Coupons for Yoplait Greek Yogurt and POM Wonderful. Info from CALIFORNIA walnuts and Washington red raspberries, Eating Recovery Center, Subway, and much more. There's a copy of Today's Dietitian for the plane ride home.

Now off to the real goodies---the sessions.

From Chicago...Best, Marie

Marie Dunford, PhD, RD
SCAN's volunteer web editor

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NMCD--what's in it for you?

Have you checked out the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCD) lately? NMCD provides unbiased, scientific clinical information on complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies. And the best part for SCAN members is that access is free, one of many SCAN member benefits.

Today I put in the search term: omega-3. As you can see from the screenshot below there is a full monograph that summarizes safety, effectiveness, mechanism of action, etc. and a reference list.

If you are a SCAN member, it is easy to access the NMCD. Here are the instructions:

Login as a member to the SCAN website (

Under Nutrition Info, click on Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (in the pulldown menu or near the bottom of the column on the left hand side of the page)

Click on the NMCD icon

You should be automatically logged in. You will know you are logged in by looking at the top upper left corner. Next to Home, it should say Logout (meaning you are currently logged in).

Many of you have a lot more experience with the NMCD than I do. Please post any tips or suggestions so we can all learn more. Best, Marie

Marie Dunford, PhD, RD

SCAN's volunteer Web Editor

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Resource for Educators

Need a resource for teaching students about evaluating dietary supplements or how to organize, plan, and present a heart healthy culinary demonstration? SCAN can help.

SCAN's webinars have been popular and some educators have asked about showing some of the webinars in their classrooms. There are currently two Educators versions of webinars available for purchase:
The Registered Dietitian's Heart Healthy Culinary Kit (

The Educators version allows for unrestricted access to the files for educational purposes (no commercial use is permitted). The files are available as both a QuickTime Video file and a Window Media file for use with both Macs and PCs. Any handouts, such as powerpoint slides or other resources, are included and may be copied and distributed to the viewing audience.

Videos add another dimension to a classroom presentation and are a life saver if the faculty member needs to be away to attend a conference or is ill (let's hope not, but it does happen sometimes). When I was a faculty member I always tried to make it as easy as possible for one of my colleagues to "cover" my classes while I was away at a conference. These are resources I wish I had had. Best, Marie

Marie Dunford, PhD, RD
SCAN's volunteer web editor

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Finding Resources

Researching food and nutrition information can be an overwhelming process and often finding the right information is dependant on your ability to search on specific topics in the right places.
Fortunately I have had the help of our corporate library manager who has pointed me to some helpful websites. These resources are useful if you are an employeed, consultant or freelance RD- go ahead and try them out when you begin your next research project.

- (Directory of Open Access Journal)
- (The Nutrition & Food Web aRchive)

Another great tip that I recieved is to set up Google Alerts, Bookmark and Reader accounts so that I can collect and organize information all online. The sites are easy to navigate and can be the gateway to using other online features.