FOOD DRINK NUTRITION DIET: DIET : HEALTH : MEDICAL: CONDITIONS: OBESITY : UNITED STATES: STATES: MISSISSIPPI: Dietitian Hopes to Help Lower State's Obesity Rate

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FOOD DRINK NUTRITION DIET: DIET : HEALTH : MEDICAL: CONDITIONS: OBESITY : UNITED STATES: STATES: MISSISSIPPI: Dietitian Hopes to Help Lower State's Obesity Rate

David P. Dillard
Administrator




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FOOD DRINK NUTRITION DIET: DIET :

HEALTH :

MEDICAL: CONDITIONS: OBESITY :

UNITED STATES: STATES: MISSISSIPPI:

Dietitian Hopes to Help Lower State's Obesity Rate


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Dietitian Hopes to Help Lower State's Obesity Rate

By Ginna Parsons

Daily Journal

http://www.djournal.com/news/
dietitian-hopes-to-help-lower-state-s-obesity-rate/
article_bdf05c4a-fac8-5fc3-9754-d88c4586ec35.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/y8o8w9eg

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VERONA  When Samantha Willcutt was an undergrad student at Mississippi
State University, she waited tables at an upscale restaurant called The
Veranda, eventually working her way up to manager.

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She saw how really good food made people happy, but she wanted a more
intimate setting, so after graduation, she went to work for Zoes Kitchen,
which specialized in made-from-scratch, fresh, healthy Mediterranean-type
fare.

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I traveled around the country, opening new restaurants and managing them
for a while, said Willcutt, 37. I was reading about nutrition all the time
and what food was doing to my body and other peoples bodies. I wanted to
push myself to learn more.

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So, after 10 years in the restaurant business, Willcutt headed back to MSU
and earned a masters degree in nutrition in 2016.

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While I was getting my masters, I did a graduate assistantship in the
Office of Nutrition Education at MSU Extension, she said. It was a nice
combination of learning about nutrition and helping people. Thats when I
said, Yep, this is for me.

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In October 2016, Willcutt became one of three regional dietitians
Extension hired to help in the fight against obesity and chronic disease
in Mississippi.

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The state has the second highest adult obesity rate in the nation,
according to "The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier
America" released in August 2017. Mississippi's adult obesity rate is
currently 37.3 percent, up from 23.7 percent in 2000 and from 15 percent
in 1990.

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Willcutt oversees the northeast region of the state. Two others came on
board this summer: Kaitlin DeWitt oversees the southeast region and
Juaqula Madkin manages the southwest region. The northwest position hasnt
been filled yet.

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Through the Office of Nutrition Education, they oversee Extensions
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education, or SNAP-Ed. They work
with SNAP-Ed nutrition educators in county offices to help coordinate
efforts to teach low-resource families ways to improve their diets,
increase physical activity and manage their food resources.

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When Sylvia Byrd was hired as the director in 2015, she brought a new
attitude to the SNAP-Ed program, said Willcutt, a Starkville native. She
didnt just want us focused on education. She wanted to expand the efforts
and implemented PSE  policy, systems and environment  all moving parts
that work together. Policy influences the system, which changes the
environment.



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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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