Grilled Steak and Watermelon Salad

Engaging Physicians on the Importance of Nutrition

J.Orr | July 26, 2019

Speaker, Jim White, shared the importance of nutrition with the VAFP audience and how lean beef can play a role in their patients’ diets. 

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Members of the Virginia Academy of Family Physicians (VAFP) gained insight on the importance of nutrition to overall health at their Annual Meeting, held in Virginia Beach, VA, July 18-21. The Beef Checkoff’s Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative, in partnership with the Virginia Beef Council welcomed the opportunity to engage with physicians and share lean beef’s role in their practice recommendations.    

Interactions with attendees spanned across three days including sponsorship of the meeting, one-on-one conversations at the beef booth and hosting a credentialed speaker as part of their agenda. The conference drew more than 170 family physicians, residents, and students from across the state, providing the checkoff numerous opportunities to share the positive benefits of beef. On-site, staff highlighted the importance of beef as a food for strength by sharing the latest research where beef is included in the Mediterranean Diet, the Beef WISE study and others. The new American Heart Association Heart Check-approved recipes and fact sheets were also shared with attendees.   

The beef booth’s theme, Beef as a Food for Strength, actively demonstrates its importance across the lifespan for growing kids, active, young adults and elderly patients. To engage with attendees, an interactive Beef Jerky Trail Mix Bar was featured, allowing physicians to add mixed nuts, seeds, and dried fruit into a bag of beef jerky, creating a delicious, portable snack. Aside from the trail mix bar, the Beef Checkoff garnered more than 112 on-site engagements through an educational survey, conversations about patient concerns, and sharing the latest research, recipes, nutrition tips and more. Of those engaging with the beef booth through an on-site survey, 79% polled had a positive opinion of beef and 21% had a neutral opinion of beef. No negative opinions of beef were observed, and most attendees were thankful for the Beef Checkoff’s sponsorship.   

When talking with physicians and discussing the concerns from their patients, some topics of interest were learning cuts of lean beef to incorporate into a healthy diet, understanding beef’s nutritional profile and discovering beef’s versatility when it comes to meal planning and portion control.     

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Staff shared the latest research on beef nutrition with physicians and offered tips for including beef in a healthy diet with recipes, lean cuts, fact sheets and more.

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On Sunday, July 21, Jim White RD, ACSM Health Fitness Specialist spoke to the physician audience with a session titled, Nutrition: A life or death conversation. White owns and operates a few Jim White Fitness Studios in the Virginia Beach and Norfolk, VA, areas to assist clients on their health and fitness journeys. After speaking with the group White noted, “According to a recent International Food Information Council's (IFIC) poll, health professionals, including physicians, are the number one trusted source for nutrition education. Patients trust them. The only problem is many physicians only have an average of 12-24 minutes to spend with their patients. They also have limited nutrition education averaging 19.6 hours in undergraduate classes. I feel it is important for physicians to gain nutrition knowledge in order to give their patients the correct science-based information.  Also, to refer out to a registered dietitian as needed. I enjoyed speaking to physicians and educating them on the latest nutrition information to relay to their patients.”         


The VAFP has a membership totaling more than 3,400 family physicians, family medicine residents and students with a mission to “Empower its members to be physicians who provide high quality, accessible health care, and dedicate themselves to the well-being of the citizens of Virginia.”  The Beef Checkoff is thankful for the continued partnership with VAFP and opportunities to build beef demand with their members. The partnership is made possible by the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative, a subcontractor to the Beef Checkoff and the Virginia Beef Council. For more information, questions or photos, please contact Jennifer Orr at jorr@pabeef.org. For more information about your beef checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.

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Internal links within this document are funded and maintained by the Beef Checkoff. All other outgoing links are to websites maintained by third parties.
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 The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.   

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 1. White, J. (2019). Nutrition: A life or Death Conversation.

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