Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Folate it is!

The final decision has been made! This semester's project will focus on increasing knowledge about folate and prenatal supplements for women of childbearing age. We've already conducted personal interviews and focus groups (many thanks to those loyal readers who also acted as subjects) and the results were overwhelming. Nearly all the women we spoke with know about the need to take folic acid, but have no idea why, how much, what it does, or when they need to take it. Our campaign will aim to change that.

We've jokingly toyed with "Folate--It's Great!", but will probably end up with something a bit more serious:
- "Doctor Knows Best. But You Should Know Too."
- "Before you increase your family, increase your knowledge."
- "Get the Facts on Folate"
Feel free to submit your ideas for slogans!

A word about folate for those who are curious... Folate (aka Folic Acid) is a B vitamin that assists with normal cell growth in a person. During a women's childbearing years, it helps prevent birth defects ranging from spinal bifida to cleft lips, and helps with limb development and digestive system development of a fetus. Aim to get 400 mg a day. Foods that are rich in folate include leafy greens like spinach, kale and turnip greens, orange juice, and dried beans and peas. Many foods like breakfast cereals are fortified with modest amounts of folic acid as well. During most stages of a person's life, folic acid needs can be met with a healthy diet. However, if you plan to conceive, a women should be on a prenatal/folic acid supplement one month prior, and should remain on the supplement through pregnancy and breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor to learn more (or stay tuned!)

Class has gone well so far. It's much more marketing than nutrition, so that's been a little slow for me, but I've enjoyed the pace and the class discussions.

In other news, the husband and I just got back from a long weekend in Boulder, CO and it was fabulous. We biked, hiked, swam and hiked some more. And I learned something new about my body-- it doesn't like high altitudes. My darling husband was halfway up the mountain, while I, gasping for air, trailed behind and cursed my low level of metabolic oxidation. It was steak for dinner for me that night!

I plan to meet with my advisor in the next two weeks and set a course for graduation. I may be (sadly) leaving my job to go to school full time. While this makes me very, very blue, as I love my job and the folks I work with, I need to keep my eye on our long term goals. If only there were more hours in the day...