La Rochefoucauld: 'To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art'

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kenneth W. Norman
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
When it comes to nutrition, there is a new sheriff in town, but she is not the food police.

Tara Beth Johnson, 97th Medical Group Health Promotion Dietician, is the new full-time dietician on base since a vacancy opened May 2011.

"The clinic is required to have a dietician, but I'm not here to be the food police," Johnson said. "I think it is important to have a person you can go to who can give you correct nutrition advice. Nutrition is one of those professions where some people think they are experts, but registered dieticians have at least bachelor's degree in nutrition. This career field is a lot more involved than people think."

Some programs that are scheduled to be restarted are cooking demonstrations, lunch and learn classes, and other nutrition based events, Johnson said.

"I like being a subject matter expert on nutrition," said Johnson. "I like meeting with people, getting to know them, and hopefully making an impact on their health."

March is National Nutrition Month and Johnson is planning to be at the Commissary every Wednesday around lunch time, hosting events about nutrition. She plans on having a different theme each week of the month.

"I'm excited - I keep hearing lots of positive talk about how happy people are to have someone here after the position was vacant for so long," Johnson said. "I am going to do what I can do to leave a positive impact."

Johnson is an Altus native and has returned back to the city after being gone for 21 years.

No stranger to the military, Johnson spent four years in the Air Force as an active duty member, five years in the Air National Guard and then received her commission from the Army Reserve. She later joined the Army National Guard and has a combined 20 plus years of military service.

Johnson's office is located at the Health and Wellness Center and she is available Mon. - Fri. from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

"I am pretty flexible on times," Johnson said. "After all my years of military service I am still not an early person, but if push-came-to-shove, I would be willing to meet with someone early. I also have no problem meeting with someone after hours."

For more information about nutrition or to make an appointment with the Health Promotion Dietician, contact the HAWC at 481-5013.