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Creating effective health-and-wellness programs

BY Antoinette Alexander

SAN ANTONIO — During Thursday’s education breakout sessions, Jeremy Doak, director of reward and wellness solutions for Edenred North America, shared with attendees the building blocks to create a strategy for delivering effective programs that impact consumer health-and-wellness outcomes during his presentation titled, “How to encourage consumer participation in health and wellness programs.”

“You want to develop a strategy that encompasses all of the consumers in the ecosystem. It is a very important notion, this ecosystem. … Always make sure you are putting your best foot forward,” Doak said. “Second, you all have very large and diverse populations, so using multiple ways to communicate is very important whether it is in-store communication, Web, mobile [or] direct mail. The third, it has to bring health and [value] to the consumer.”

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Training dietitians for retail

BY Antoinette Alexander

SAN ANTONIO — Looking to arm registered dietitians working in the retail food industry with the business skills and knowledge needed to succeed — such as developing an effective elevator pitch, dressing for success, obtaining a sponsor and a mentor, and having a confident handshake — Amy Myrdal Miller, director of programs and culinary nutrition at the Culinary Institute of America, and Annette Maggi, executive director of Retail Dietitians Business Alliance and president of Annette Maggi & Associates, headed up the education breakout session titled “Everything I needed to know I learned in kindergarten … except how to work in the food industry.”

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Creating ‘blue zones’ in supermarkets

BY Antoinette Alexander

SAN ANTONIO — The Health and Wellness @ Retail 2013 kicked off on a strong note as National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner discussed, during his opening keynote presentation, his findings after traveling the globe to uncover the best strategies for longevity and happiness.

The session, sponsored by Cardinal Health, was titled “Integrating blue zones into communities to improve health outcomes.”

Buettner identified “blue zones” — places where people have the greatest life expectancy — and shared how supermarkets can incorporate blue zone techniques into their own communities. The blue zones include Okinawa, Japan; Ikaria, Greece; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, Calif.

Based on the research, those living within the blue zones tend to live active lifestyles, have a healthy outlook and rituals that help reduce stress, feel they have a purpose, are well connected with friends and family, and eat wisely.

“Longevity wasn’t pursued; it ensued. Longevity happened to them. They lived in an environment that nudged them their entire life into eating a little bit less, eating a little bit better, moving a little bit more, being more social and being more purposeful. They were the result of their environment and not the other way around,” Buettner told attendees.

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