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  1. Zelman, Kathleen MS, RD
  2. Kennedy, Eileen DSc, RD


Naturally nutrient rich is a concept that builds on a well-established tenet of nutrition-nutrient density-in a more meaningful, relevant, and actionable way. Nutrient density has been a central, but underutilized, pillar of nutrition for many years. In light of the obesity epidemic in the United States, renewed attention has been given to this concept in an effort of find ways to educate consumers to make better choices to get the most nutrition from their foods and make their calories count more. A symposium held in March 2004 explored research developments toward creating a nutrient-density index as an educational tool to help consumers choose foods that are naturally nutrient-rich first, and less-nutrient dense foods, as calories allow.


Note: Since the time of the March 2004 Naturally Nutrient Rich Symposium and publication of this article, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released (January 12, 2005). A key recommendation in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines in to "consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages within and among the basic food groups [horizontal ellipsis]" (see Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005. Available at: Accessed March 7, 2005)