In the Beginning | Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB)

In the Beginning

Posted by: on Monday July 18, 2022

I was struggling to find a topic that I could be enthused about for this issue’s editorial. With so many issues facing us, this should be easy: baby formula shortages, increasing food insecurity, food pantry shortages, environmental impacts, and political challenges. I went back and read some of my editorials from 10 years ago. Still no creative spark.

So, I started at the beginning. Indeed, that was the title of Helen Ullrich’s very first editorial. That is an inspirational editorial. I’ll let you all read it yourselves, but the snapshot is that in the first issue, Dr. Ull- rich invited all to participate in the new journal. A prototype had been developed and distributed prior to this first issue, and Dr. Ullrich shared that 91% of respondents felt there was a need for this type of journal.1 In conjunction with our publisher, Elsevier, and through our Journal Committee, JNEB conducts a reader-ship survey about every 3 years. The latest in 2020 reported that our readers believed JNEB to be credible/trustworthy (99% agree or strongly agreed), timely (91%), and authoritative (86%). Kudos to our authors, re- viewers, and editors.

Dr. Ullrich also noted that for the journal to succeed, the involvement of all with comments, suggestions, reviews, and articles is needed. The JNEB staff has continued to grow. In addition to myself, we have a Senior Associate Editor, 7 Associate Editors, an Editorial Assistant, and a Managing Editor. The Journal also relies on the Journal Committee for policies and procedures. This committee currently has 18 members with 9 sub-committees. Everyone is very involved, and I am always so im- pressed by their professionalism and devotion to JNEB. We also have grown our Board of Editors (39 individuals) and our statistical reviewer experts (12 individuals). I know Dr. Ullrich would be proud.

Also of interest on that same page as her editorial are some letters to the editor (I wish we had more of those to publish, see guidelines for authors). Dr. Mickelsen from Michigan State University wrote that because most people believe themselves to be adequately nourished, it might be useful to target nutrition education efforts more specifically.2 I think we’ve done that! Just read through the work of Ramsey et al in this issue. They are looking specifically at the development of weight management interventions for Deep South African Americans.3 In addition to time, cost, and social support, other factors related to family, culture, and fears were identified.

There was also an excerpt from a letter to the editor from Dr. A. G. van Veen from Cornell.4 They point to the need to consider the differences needed in nutrition education interventions targeting higher-income versus low-income countries. Our special issues collection this quarter focuses on recently published JNEB articles from countries other than the US: Australia, Germany, Iran, Japan, China, Turkey, and Brazil. I am so pleased that JNEB continues to grow with our international colleagues.

Well, now I am excited again and many thanks to Dr. Ullrich and all the others who invested themselves in JNEB so many years ago. If you want to know more about JNEB’s his- tory, please read Briggs and Briggs for a review of the first decade of JNEB (then JNE),5 Sims6 for the second decade, Olson7 for the third, and Contento8 for 1998 to 2007. These articles will make you smile and charge you up.

Karen Chapman-Novakofski, PhD, RDN

Editor-in-Chief Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Advancing Research, Practice, and Policy


  1. Ullrich H. The beginning. J Nutr Educ. 1969;1:4.
  2. Mickelsen O. Directed effort needed. J Nutr Educ. 1969;1:4.
  3. Ramsey MW, Reese-Smith J, Lemacks JL, Madson MB, Greer T, Bradfor L, Aras S, Gipson J, McLin Key Focus Group Themes to Inform Weight Man- agement Interventions in Deep South African Americans. J Nutr Behav Educ. 2022;54:647–659.
  4. van Veen Make a clear distinction. J. Nutr Educ. 1969;1:4.
  5. Briggs C, Briggs The first decade of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2008;40:125–133.
  6. Sims The second decade of the Jour- nal of Nutrition Education (and Behavior) (1978-1987): building the momentum. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2008;40:201–207.
  7. Olson The third decade of the Jour- nal of Nutrition Education (1988-1997): vibrant expansion in research content, audiences, and topics for nutrition edu- cation. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2008;40:274– 278.
  8. Contento I. Review of nutrition educa- tion research in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 1998 to 2007. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2008;40:331–340.