Five in Focus: Judith Rodriguez
Judith Rodriguez is a professor and incoming chair of the University of North Florida Brooks College of Health Department of Nutrition and Dietetics. She co-authored “The Latino Food Lover’s Glossary” and “The Diet Selector.”
Rodriguez also is a 2011 Women of Distinction honoree by the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council and a finalist for the 2011 EVE Awards.
In May, she wrapped up a year as president of the American Dietetic Association.
Last year, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and of Human Services changed the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. What changed?
Emphasis on enjoying our food but eating less, making half the plate fruits and vegetables — messages that are easier and actionable.
What were your duties as president of the American Dietetic Association?
To work with the board of directors to develop and execute the strategic plan — advocacy in Washington, D.C., be a spokesperson, build coalitions, promote the profession, encourage leadership and service, mentor members.
If you could permanently change one dietary habit of Americans, what would it be?
To eat moderate portions of a varied diet. It’s the choices we make and the amounts!
What’s been the most fun job along the path to your position at UNF?
Working as a consultant for several years — different education initiatives, for nonprofits/profits, on research, met lots of people and learned to know and meet the customer’s needs.
What’s your guilty dietary pleasure, and why that?
Lots of different foods, but often cheese — it’s versatile — with meals, fruits, for a snack. It can work with anything.