Messenger - Vol. 2, No. 3, Page 18
Summer 1993
A nourishing word

     Asparagus: the Lean Green." "Orange Appeal." "Fat: Where It's At."
"Peanut Butter: Spread the Word." Could it be that there's a dietitian out
there who can make nutrition both fun and enlightening?
     There is indeed. Mona Boyd Browne, Delaware '83, owner and consultant
of Nutrition Communication Services in New York City, comes on the scene
like a sip of fresh lemonade-a little tart, a little sweet and with lots of
     "When I write or speak about nutrition, I make it short, direct, to
the point and use catchy language. You have to grab your reader's or
listener's attention," she says.
     An example of her style is the article, "The Great (Calorie)
Escape-Proven Ways to Avoid Overeating at Holiday Parties," published in
Fast and Healthy magazine. She suggests not taking a "vow of hunger" before
a party (it leads to overeating), not wasting calories on ordinary foods
but enjoying the special ones, bringing the hostess a donation of
"lower-fat, guilt-free goodies" and leaving the "scene of the calorie" to
talk to people "away from the food area."
     Unless someone has a health problem that requires a strict diet, the
key word in eating right is moderation, according to Browne. She does not
mention "forbidden foods" because people tend to eat them anyway.
     "The three cornerstones of health are your genes, good eating and
exercise. There is no magic bullet for controlling your weight and keeping
fit. You have to become informed and do it yourself," says Browne, who has
received numerous awards, including the Recognized Young Dietitian of the
Year from the New York State Dietetic Association and the American Dietetic
Association in 1991.
     Browne says she became interested in dietetics during an innovative
home economics course in her Maryland high school. She also held a summer
job during high school in an institutional kitchen, doing everything from
pot walloping on up, which gave her "very fundamental training," she says.
     She came to Delaware for its nutrition and dietetics program that
included on-the-job internships. After graduation, Browne worked as a
clinical dietitian in a Maryland hospital and, later, as a nutrition
educator, conducting workshops for health professionals, educators and
     She discovered that she enjoyed writing and public contact, and, with
a supporting nudge from her father, she took a out small business loan and
established herself as a consultant in Baltimore. She then took another
giant step by relocating to the Big Apple. "I was lucky to be the right
person in the right place," she recalls.
     Networking with dietitians, volunteering in her professional
organizations, pounding the pavements to get established, putting in
several 12-hour days eventually paid off. Currently, Brown is a
contributing editor for Ladies Home Journal, writes for Redbook, Health,
American Health, Longevity and Parenting, appears frequently on television
and radio and serves as a consultant to public relations agencies, food
companies, trade organizations and others.
     Recently, she authored Healthy Start: Food to Grow On, a national
healthy-eating campaign for children, co-sponsored by the American Academy
of Pediatrics, the American Dietetic Association and the Food Marketing
Institute. The program received awards from the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) and the National Coalition for Consumer Education.
     Addressing such topics as "Feeding Kids Right Isn't Always Easy-Tips
for Preventing Food Hassles," the program discusses such things as "The
Great American White Food Diet" of milk, macaroni, potatoes and bread
(advice-keep offering red, orange and green foods); the Fear of New Foods
Syndrome (introduce new foods over time); and other picky-kid problems.
     Currently, Browne is engaged in a food-labeling project and a program
for nutrition professionals on making successful presentations and is
involved in publishing a New York State Dietetic Association pamphlet about
the USDA's food guide pyramid for healthy eating.
     The life of a dietitian is not always easy, she says. "At a party, you
sometimes feel on stage, with the audience asking, 'What is she having to
drink?' 'Is she diving into the peanuts?'"
     But, even dietitians must occasionally give in to temptation. Browne
and her husband, Michael, are expecting their first baby this fall, and she
confesses to a real craving for glazed donuts.
                                   -Sue Swyers Moncure