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How Understanding Trends Leads to Greater Impact

By: Megan Holdaway, RDN

  • Wednesday, April 26, 2023
  • 1 Minute Read   


For over 35 years, Dairy Council of California’s Trends team has provided ongoing monitoring to analyze the latest trends in food and nutrition research, education, policy and communications. This innovative process is integral to Dairy Council of CA’s success and helps ensure its programs, resources and services remain science-based and relevant.

Dairy Council of CA’s Trends team of registered dietitian nutritionists, health, education, and communications experts meets three times a year to identify emerging trends in key areas, including food environment and access, community health, consumer behavior, milk and dairy nutrition, disease, sustainability and nutrition education. These trends are based on analysis of information from over 60 scholarly journals, industry publications, newsletters, news outlets and more. 

The trends identified in team meetings are the basis for two Trends publications per year. These resources are informational tools that highlight emerging issues and opportunities impacting community health, and they amplify research on healthy, sustainable eating patterns that include dairy. The trends help inform Dairy Council of CA’s strategic planning, and resulting publications and presentations are a valuable resource to the dairy community, health professionals and educators. 

The most recent publication, 2023 Trends for Education and Health Professionals, highlights:

  • Increased focus on “food is medicine” programs as a solution to improving health.
  • Pregnancy, early childhood and older adulthood as key life stages for nutrition interventions that include nutrient-dense dairy foods.
  • The impact of economic uncertainty and unpredictability on consumers, the workforce and dependability of supportive funding.
  • California dairies’ ongoing innovation that builds on a history of progress toward achieving healthy, sustainable food systems amid increased focus on the plant-based movement as the solution to climate crisis.

Understanding trends in policy, systems, environments and lived experience that impact community health can inform strategies and collaborative efforts to achieve nutrition security and elevate the health of children and families. Thought-leader publications such as Trends provide health and education professionals with science-backed resources and information they value and trust, supporting their nutrition education efforts and ensuring nutritious dairy foods remain at the forefront of healthy eating guidance. To read the 2023 Trends for Education and Health Professionals, visit HealthyEating.org/Trends.


Megan Holdaway, RDN

Megan Holdaway, RDN

Megan Holdaway is a registered dietitian nutritionist and the Nutrition Science Program Manager at Dairy Council of California.

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