Did you know March is National Nutrition Month? National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and it’s a great opportunity for local pharmacies to educate their patients on the importance of good nutrition, healthy diets, and exercise. Springtime, March specifically, is an excellent time of year for you to start conversations with your patients about the various foods they’re eating and how they can enhance their diets to improve their overall health. Studies have shown that good nutrition can lead to a healthier lifestyle and when paired with consistent physical activity, people tend to feel better and live happier longer lives.
National Nutrition Month History
National Nutrition Month started in March 1973 as a week-long celebration and a way to educate the general public on nutrition and also to help promote awareness of the dietetics profession. Originally announced with public service announcements, news releases, and bumper stickers which promoted special nutrition events hosted in schools, health care facilities, and community centers, the campaign caught national attention with districts and state associations being prompted to host their own events. The celebration was focused on the importance of choosing the right foods and starting a consistent exercise regimen. We continue to observe National Nutrition Month to help create general awareness around health education and continue to introduce healthier eating habits to those who need it.
National Nutrition Month 2023: Fuel for the Future
This year is the fiftieth anniversary of National Nutrition Month and the theme is “Fuel for the Future”, which promotes sustainability and shares knowledge on how to create habits that are healthy for both the body and the environment. Each week has a unique message that supports this year’s campaign:
- Week 1: Eat with the environment in mind
- Week 2: See a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
- Week 3: Stay nourished and save money
- Week 4: Eat a variety of foods from all food groups
Ways to Spread Nutrition Awareness at Your Pharmacy
Most people want to lead a healthy life but may not have the knowledge or resources they need to accomplish that successfully. National Nutrition Month is a wonderful opportunity for you to engage with your patients and start a dialog about eating healthy, working out, and overall wellness. Below are a few of the many ways to participate in National Nutrition Month at your pharmacy:
1) Educate Your Patients on Nutrition
During the month of March, your pharmacy should work diligently with patients on how their diets can positively or negatively influence their overall health — with full transparency around how poor diets can be linked to major health risks that can cause illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Dialogue around exercise is also recommended, as combining regular exercise with healthier eating habits — even if it’s just light cardio, can be largely beneficial for your patients.
In addition to talking to patients about their health, there are also many educational resources and printouts that you can offer at your pharmacy. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has many free downloadable resources including tip sheets, activity handouts, and presentations.
2) Host an Event for National Nutrition Month
Hosting an event for National Nutrition Month can be a great way to connect with your patients on a more personal level and share awareness in an interactive way. Here are just a few of the many different types of events you might consider:
- Hold children’s programs to boost sales and share valuable information with the next generation
- Host a book signing with the author of a nutrition book
- Launch a food donation campaign for a local food pantry or shelter in your pharmacy
3) Counsel Patients on Nutrient Depletion
There are plenty of chances to counsel on nutrient depletion every day in your store or you can start offering appointments for a more in-depth conversation with your patients on what medications they are taking and what nutrients could potentially be depleted as a result. If you’re not educating your patients currently on the nutrients being depleted by their current medications, there is no better time to begin than during National Nutrition Month.
4) Display and Promote Wellness Products
National Nutrition Month provides an opportunity to display and promote health products such as vitamins and supplements. Not only does this promote healthy habits for your patients, but it also can provide your pharmacy with additional revenue streams to offset DIR fees.
5) Spread Awareness on Social Media
Not only can you spread knowledge on proper nutrition within your pharmacy, but you can also spread awareness on a broader scale using social media to advocate for your local community as well. Here are a few ideas and resources to incorporate National Nutrition Month into your social media strategy:
- Host a live discussion or Q&A with a dietician on your social media platforms
- Share healthy recipes or record a video of a cooking demo
- Post healthy eating tips from the CDC
- Use the National Nutrition Month Social Press Kit to share posts directly to your pharmacy timeline
For further assistance with social media, contact us today and our digital marketing experts would be happy to help you get started!