Beyond the table, behind the label

Photo By Airman 1st Class Kurstyn Canida | U.S. Air Force Capt. Rachelle Goebel, 81st Medical Group nutritional medicine chief, and Airman 1st Class Darren Overton, 81st MDG diet technician, hold an "Ask a Dietitian" panel for National Nutrition Month at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Mar. 22, 2024. The 81st MDG held the panel for Airmen to stop and ask questions without an appointment, receive healthy recipes and informative resources. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kurstyn Canida)



Story by Airman 1st Class Kurstyn Canida 

81st Training Wing Public Affairs  

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National Nutrition Month aims to educate people about making informed food choices while also developing healthy eating and physical activity habits. This year’s theme is “Beyond the Table”, highlighting the places and ways we consume outside of the dining room.

While Airmen are encouraged to seek methods that lead to healthier lifestyles, there are many products on the market that should be avoided. With over 800 items on the Department of Defense’s list of prohibited dietary supplements, service members are advised to research the ingredients in the products they’re consuming.

“The biggest thing is giving Airmen the tools that they need to make those smart decisions, whether it’s wanting to maintain your weight, losing weight or improve your sports performance.” said Capt. Rachelle Goebel, 81st Medical Group nutritional medicine chief.

Airmen can use the tool on the Operation Supplement Safety website to easily access the prohibited dietary supplements list and search for the products they are using. Many ingredients in common pre-workouts, artificial greens, and protein powders are not authorized for service members to consume and can have adverse effects on the body.

“I think when we’re looking beyond the table, it’s important for us to take look at the whole picture, not just the foods we’re eating.” said Goebel. “When it comes to health, we need to adopt a total force focus on other aspects of our well-being which includes our sleeping habits, stress management and supplement usage.”

While the pursuit of healthier lifestyles is paramount, it’s imperative to exercise good judgment with the abundance of quick-fix solutions on the market. With a comprehensive understanding of the risks associated with unauthorized dietary supplements and resources that support informed decision-making, Airmen can proactively safeguard their well-being.

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