American Institute of Wine and Food Public Health Campaign

Challenge:

Public policy was on a fast track to labeling foods "good" and "bad" based solely on fat content. While the primary motivation for food choice is individual taste preferences, this factor was not a part of public health discussions. Consumers were feeling more guilt about food selections, yet few were responding to the fat-content-focused health initiative. In order to improve eating habits and meet public health goals, the gap between public health and the culinary communities had to be bridged.

On behalf of American Institute of Wine and Food, Nuffer, Smith, Tucker was tasked with message development, coalition building and implementing media outreach strategies to help shape the conversation about balancing consumer appetites for delicious foods with healthy eating habits.

NST’s strategy included bringing together the nation’s high-level dietary public health and culinary professionals to be a part of the decision-making process for newly established dietary guidelines, which leveled the playing field between taste and health. NST also helped form regional coalitions of medical centers (e.g. Boston, New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago) to get buy-in to the newly established guidelines. Once buy-in was secured, NST played a role developing curriculum designed to teach dietary professionals about the important relationship between good taste and healthy eating habits.

Results:

Found consensus between the health and culinary communities on new guidelines for diet and health.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines Committee embraced the concept in its guidelines for Americans.

Research showed a shift among health professionals from recommending restrictive low-fat choices to the recommendation that all foods can fit into a healthy diet.