News: Dietician observes National Nutrition Month with fellow soldiers
Story by Capt. Charles An
FOREST PARK, Ga. – The 3rd Medical Command Deployment Support took the time to observe National Nutrition Month. Col. Diana Hoek, a dietician, and Sgt. Maj. John Sneed, the senior nutrition non commissioned officer, had a display to talk to soldiers to raise awareness of nutrition among them.
“This month’s particular focus is on beverages to take a look at what we drink and how those calories affect how our body feels,” said Hoek. “We’re taking a look at the amount of sugar that is put into different beverages, added in and naturally occurring.”
Both soldiers had in display various drink bottles that represented a number of commonly found drinks. Represented were soft drinks, sweet tea, sports drinks and fruit drinks.
“What I’ve done is to take a look at the amount of sugar that is in the bottle and actually translating it into teaspoons of sugar so you can visually see the content of the sugar,” Hoek explained as she picks up the different bottles in the display.
The sugar amounts in some of the drinks were shocking to a few of the soldiers that they spoke to.
“You would never just eat it,” Staff Sgt. Mark Mayfield, training NCO for 3rd Medical Command, referring to the amount of sugar in a soft drink.
Hoek immediately responded, “You wouldn’t, but drinking the whole bottle, yes!”
Even the fruit drink was under scrutiny when the sugar content was looked at.
“This looks healthy. It’s got pictures of fruit. It says “Mango Carrot,” which are both healthy and contain Vitamins A and C,” says Hoek as she holds up the fruit drink. “I turn it around and the first ingredient is water, and the second ingredient is high fructose corn syrup. In terms of quantity, there’s more sugar than anything else.”
Hoek provided a handout for a self-evaluation on how the soldiers consumed drinks.
She concluded, “It’s about being a smart consumer.”
Col. Diana Hoek is director of policy, marketing and training for Massachusetts WIC program. She has been with the 3rd Medical Command for five months and travels down to Atlanta each month as the dietician for the unit. Sgt. Maj. John Sneed is a corrections officer.