Mark A. Mahoney | Guest columnist
As we continue along in National Nutrition Month, we must not lose sight of the importance of accurate and timely information in the area of nutrition and diet. One of the most salient issues relates to the potentially negative consequences of excessive weight or obesity which has increased in the U.S.
Why are nutrition and weight status important?
Diet and body weight are related to health status. Good nutrition is important to the growth and development of children.
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A healthful diet also helps Americans reduce their risks for many health conditions, including: overweight and obesity, malnutrition, iron-deficiency anemia, cardiovascular (heart) disease, high blood pressure, dyslipidemia (poor lipid profiles, an abnormal amount of lipids e.g., triglycerides, cholesterol and/or fat phospholipids in the blood.), Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, oral disease, constipation, diverticular disease and some cancers.
Individuals who are at a healthy weight are less likely to develop chronic disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and dyslipidemia, develop chronic diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and some cancers, experience complications during pregnancy and, ultimately die at an earlier age.
Registered dietitians or nutritionists (RDs or RDNs)
Consider consulting with a qualified health professional, preferably a registered dietitian or nutritionist (RD or RDN) for trusted, accurate, timely and practical nutrition information as this individual is the most knowledgeable, well-trained specialist in this area.
Among many valuable health services, they can assist you to overcome eating disorders and set realistic weight loss and weight management goals for yourself and your family. When you reference online (or print) resources, make sure these are reliable sources of health/nutrition information, which is evidence-based and focuses on best practices in public health.
Being proactive on the goal of living a healthy lifestyle can go a long way towards improving our quality of life.
Not knowing (or choosing not to know) is not a sufficient excuse for not taking action based upon evidence-based or best practices interventions It means adopting a lifestyle that includes a healthful eating plan, coupled with regular physical activity.
Taking good messages and messengers to “heart” are a key part of a proactive approach to better health in 2022. Remember that there is no “magic bullet” for safe and healthful weight management. Successful weight management is a lifelong process. Do it for yourself and your family.
Thanks to the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics for providing much of the content.
Resources for Further Information
A compilation of external resources for weight loss and management provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is available at cdc.gov/healthyweight/tools/index.html
Healthy eating recipes from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) which provide many options can be accessed at healthyeating.nhlbi.nih.gov/
Mark A. Mahoney, Ph.D. has been a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist for over 35 years and completed graduate studies in Nutrition & Public Health at Columbia University. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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