Amy Gorin – Senior Editor, Health
Keeping up with trends in nutrition and weight loss can be a calorie-burning feat in itself, and doing it responsibly, sifting through all the severe programs, meal plans and hyper-intense workouts to find the healthiest and most long-term, is even more of a workout. Luckily for Health magazine, health and nutrition veteran Amy Gorin has just come onboard as a senior editor for diet and weight loss, helping them manage their editorial stamp on the best that’s out there in this full force market.
Gorin joined the magazine from Parents, where she was an associate editor overseeing much of their children’s health content and penning some nutrition editorial. She also has a long resume of health titles at glossies, a career she knew early on she wanted to call her own.
“I’ve always known that I wanted to work in magazines, so even when I did newspaper work, it was features oriented,” she said. “I studied magazine journalism in both college and graduate school. I was lucky that one of my college professors worked in health journalism, so I worked on some [health] pieces with him early on. In fact, one of my very first magazine clips (in college) was a piece I wrote for him on allergies for the second issue of Women’s Health.”
One of the joys health topics afford Gorin is the ever changing findings associated with them, putting her in constant educational environments.
“I truly love that I get to learn every day, and use that information to inspire others to make healthy lifestyle changes,” she said. “When I got my first job as an editorial assistant at Prevention, I had two bosses there who were both great educators in nutrition. I learned so much from them about nutrition and health reporting. Through that job, I grew to love the areas of nutrition and weight loss. My experience there actually inspired me to pursue a graduate degree in clinical nutrition, as well as Registered Dietician credentials. I’m going to school for this part-time at New York University and am currently in my third year.”
This medical knowledge and the culture of education provide strong backing for Gorin to make more informed and responsible decisions about the best, most helpful and healthiest content to run. Turn on late-night television or take a look at the ubiquitous before-and-after ads that grace a lot of Web pages, and any media consumer can understand what editors are up against, the unending parade of wild claims and quick and easy solutions, none of whose medical validity is immediately apparent. This sort of a climate burdens health editors with a unique set of responsibilities.
“Any journalist covering dieting and weight loss needs to be responsible in his or her coverage,” Gorin said. “This means that diet plans need to have realistic expectations and promote balanced meal plans with a realistic amount of daily calories. This type of meal plan is more likely to result in weight loss that sticks long-term. Also, exercise is an important component of weight loss and maintenance of weight loss, and we’re continually advocating that our readers exercise as well as eat healthfully.”
Gorin, like most in the nutrition and diet fields, is benefiting from a larger change in U.S. eating habits spurred by agricultural and consumer trends toward the organic and locally sourced and a subsequent renaissance in home cooking that emphasizes balanced meals with good products. With a wealth of television programs, books and documentaries on these subjects, Gorin is looking at a demographic poised to approach diet as more of a hobby than a set of restrictions, something she embraces.
“This shift is absolutely a good thing,” she said. “Making your own food and caring about the sourcing of your ingredients lends itself to eating healthfully and maintaining a healthy weight. It’s great when people are conscious of the quality of what they’re eating. The bottom line is that it’s completely possible to eat delicious, nutritious food and still lose weight—or maintain your weight, if that’s your desire — and this is something we focus on in our weight loss editorial.”
Coupled with this, of course, is the use of the internet, which has enabled weight loss seekers to support each other online, sharing ideas and motivation.
“We have a lot of women who write in as contenders for our weight loss success page,” Gorin said. “Many of them mention online communities and how the support of the fellow dieters they’ve met in these communities has helped them reach their goal weight. Often, they’re connecting with people who live in different states, even different countries. In this day and age, we’re lucky that we have so many options and outlets for support — including friends and family, in-person weight loss meetings, and online communities.”
With such resources and these positive cultural trends heading a sea change in diet and food habits, the future looks bright.
Gorin is open to straightforward pitches that provide succinct, necessary information.
“E-mail is always best for contact.” she said. “This way, I can file away a pitch and save it for reference. And responding to an e-mail takes less time than returning a phone call. The e-mail header should be as straightforward as possible. I’m much more concerned about the e-mail body containing information I need to know (such as launch date of a book or product) versus being clever. And giving me time to consider a pitch is key. It’s best to wait a couple of weeks to follow up.”
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