Just Released: Health At Every Size Curriculum

I’ve been a proponent of size diversity for a long time now, and couldn’t be more thrilled about the recent release of the Health at Every Size (HAES) Curriculum. It was developed through a collaboration of the Association for Size Diversity and Health, the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior and the National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance. You can download the curriculum for free at http://haescurriculum.com/.

What Does ‘Health At Every Size’ Mean?

It means taking a weight-neutral approach with patients/clients/the general population, and not letting weight bias affect the care and guidance we give people. Just because a phealth-at-every-size-curriculumerson has a larger frame doesn’t mean they don’t have healthy habits, and on the flip-side just because a person is thinner, doesn’t mean that they do. It also takes a balanced approach to eating and promotes mindfulness and enjoyment, rather than restriction around eating.

What Does the Curriculum Include?

The website is a wealth of resources including overview Powerpoints, a section of supplemental materials that contains handouts (for students and instructors), discussion questions, assignments and much much more. There’s even a resource list for additional outside reading.

Who Would Benefit From Reviewing the HAES Curriculum?

The curriculum was developed for college students and health professionals but really anyone could benefit from the education it provides. I feel that it’s important that this movement spread through the health care community, but also throughout all of society as well.

How Can You Implement This Curriculum?

Leave a comment below and let me know how you plan to incorporate this curriculum into your practice/life.

“Accident”

I don’t do much with guest bloggers, but when people are willing to share their story, I want to give them a platform. Let’s all support Adele and thank her for her insight and courage.

Guest blog By: Adele Schroder

It’s funny how perspective is everything. Looking back now I see how completely ridiculous what I believed to be true then actually was, but at the time it made so much sense, I was doing what was right, what was healthy. There was nothing wrong with eating about 500 calories per day – so many diets out there suggest it – smart people, famous people, doctors even, all support the idea that the best way to lose weight was to reduce what you eat and some even go so far to suggest that those who are lower calorie diets live longer. Skinny at any cost is the healthy thing to do.

The truth at the time, I was over weight. I know I was, but I was healthy, I ate fairly balanced, exercised, my cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar I dowere all fine, but my doctor was still pushing me to lose weight. Truth is, she made me feel horrible about myself and at one point even said that if I couldn’t control what I was eating myself, then she would give me a prescription for appetite suppressants. It was that comment that began the slippery slope that would eventually become a case of accidental anorexia.

I started restricting what I ate – I went from eating balanced to eating one thing per meal – one yogurt, one piece of skinless chicken, one piece of cucumber. There was nothing balanced or healthy about it, but the weight started to come off and my doctor, family, friends, and anyone else who saw me started praising me for “looking so good”. I read about all the latest fad diets – it didn’t seem like anything I was doing was wrong – so many people ate like this, limiting there intake to a few select “safe” foods to make yourself healthy again. It was great – I was getting skinny and everyone was proud of how much “will-power” I had to stick with it.

A year, and almost 90lbs later, things started to change. I was always tired, my hair was falling out, I had passed out a couple times – but I was skinny, “beautiful” and “healthy”. Staying that way was all that I could think about – an Ana brain inside of me had taken over – nothing was more important than self-control and skinniness – skinniness at any cost. I was working at a place that insisted everyone eat lunch in the lunchroom. Didn’t take long before people started to talk and I remember that day that I got pulled into the meeting room. All of upper management was standing there and they simply said, “we want you to see a dietitian, you don’t look well”. I was royally pissed off – some of these people were the same people who just months before had been telling me how great I looked….they must be jealous, that was it, I was convinced! They were just jealous at the self control I had.

I sat in the waiting room of the dietitian’s office going over what I was going to say – figured it would be easy – just tell her what diet I was following, what my doctor had said when I was fat – how I was just being healthy…she would just sign that stupid thing for work and I could put this whole embarrassing “you need help” crap behind me. It’s not like I wasn’t doing something that so many other people weren’t doing – and I wasn’t one of those skinny-little-nut-jobs you see on those reality help shows – I was a well off business person who just took control of a problem (being over weight) and fixed it. Nothing was wrong with that.

Unfortunately my appointment didn’t go that way – instead I was bluntly told that how I was eating was dangerous, completely unacceptable, and that if I didn’t stop I would die. I told the dietitian she was crazy, rolled my eyes and must have told her I was fine at least 20 times. But the hardest part came at the end of the appointment – all she asked me to do was have an extra yogurt at lunch – one 80-calorie yogurt – and I lost it. There were tears, begging, saying I wouldn’t do it and that she wasn’t listening to me – I wasn’t doing anything wrong I was just doing what Dr X said to do and following Y diet – I didn’t have a problem, I was just trying to be healthy and why was she trying to make me fat again.

She stayed calm through all of it – repeated that what I was doing was not ok, not healthy and that I was going to die if I didn’t stop – then told me she would see me next week. I refused – she shrugged and said that it “wasn’t a suggestion” then walked with me to reception to make the next appointment.  I hated her – she didn’t know me – so how could she judge me. But I knew I at least had some saving grace – she was pregnant – so I figured that if I couldn’t fight her I would play her silly little game for 3 months and she would be gone. And being honest, I probably did at the time – but something else happened – I started to respect her, if for no other reason than she was consistent in what she said, “you can’t keep eating like this, it is not healthy, you will die”. Three very simple and blunt comments that stuck with me.

My eating did get a little better when she was away on maternity leave that year – not because I wanted to get healthy but because I was told that if I lost more weight then a hospital stay would no longer be up to me (I had mandatory monthly check ins with an ED psychologist that year, I played along with the stupid game) – I wasn’t better by any stretch of the imagination – I still thought that barely eating was the right thing to do – I just wasn’t willing to give up everything I had accomplished and end up in the hospital – so I ate the bare minimum I had to to avoid that consequence.

It was a year later that I ended up getting a new family doctor – and with that change came the routine “base-line” blood work workup. I got a call I never expected, “the doctor wants to see you back in her office today regarding your blood tests, how soon can you be here?”. I sat in her office looking at line after line of abnormalities – high cholesterol, high liver enzymes, poor kidney function, a large amount of ketones in my urine, and electrolytes that were all over the place. She was questioning me on how I felt, if I had been on any medications etc etc and I sat there thinking, “the dietitian was right, I’m hurting myself…” I felt so confused – why were there so many diets out there saying what I did was right? Why did my old doctor praise me? Why was my blood work normal when I was fat but so abnormal now that I was skinny…why wasn’t skinny healthy? I wasn’t “dangerously thin” – my BMI was fine – so why wasn’t I healthier than when I was over weight? Isn’t that what we are taught? Skinny is healthy…my whole world came crashing down that day. Everything that I had believed regarding what it was to be healthy – everything that I had read and seen in the media was wrong – and because I believed it, I was now sick.

The next day I swallowed my pride and sent a “you were right” email and asked for help. This time was different – I tried not to fight as much (hard to give up the fight completely) and I worked towards a goal – I wanted to be healthy – I wanted normal blood work. I wanted to learn to eat well and enjoy food again. I learned that I had to start putting my health first, my body first – it was all in my control to be healthy.

Today I can say that I am healthy – I eat well – and I eat anything and everything without worrying so much about if the food is “good” or “bad”. But there is one thing that still bothers me: how is it that even though I am well educated and a professional person I was able to believe that what I was doing was right? I accidently became anorexic, not because I was trying to gain control over my life or any of the other things that you hear about when you think of eating disorders – I became anorexic because I honestly did not know that what I was doing was harmful or wrong. And what was the worst part of this whole thing? Even if being anorexic was not your intent, once Ana brain sets in, there’s no escaping it, no controlling it, no seeing any other opinion. It is far easier to believe what you see every day than believing the truth: skinny does not always equal healthy.

Perspective is everything – and mine has now changed. I put me and my health first and realize that the number on the scale doesn’t always have anything to do with health.

*****

Thanks, Adele!

If you are intrigued by what you read here, you may want to check out the “Health at Every Size” principles and community.

The Obamas Don’t Diet and Neither Should You “It’s a Lifestyle”

My heart is full at this very moment. It’s not often that positive messages about healthy living get out there. It’s RARE that the word “DIET” is out there in a negative or neutral context. But that’s exactly what happens in this video with Sam Kass, White House Chef when he said “we don’t diet – it’s a lifestyle”. THANK YOU! It is so important for the public to hear dieting in a negative context.

People equate healthy living to dieting. That is not the case. Changing your behaviors to eat more nutritious may feel like “dieting” because it is so new, but when you eat healthy, nourishing foods your body will naturally lose weight if you need to. People also equate “not dieting” to eating without any boundaries, inhibitions, or structure. Also not the case. Intuitive eating guides you to balance out what your body needs (nourishment) and wants (cravings and appetite)

Dieting is deprivation and a complete waste of time. If you need motivation for swapping a diet-mind for a self-care mind focused on your own health (not size) check out the “me” movement. However, we have a long way to go… check out some of the post comments in the Yahoo blog. People ripped apart the use of dried fruit. Hello, FOOD POLICE. Thankfully others in the comments sorted it out. It is so clear that most of us are still very diet-minded. It’s another reason we have to ditch diets!

Yahoo video: A favorite Michelle Obama snack: Exclusive access into White House kitchen

Fruit, Nut and Oatmeal Bars

originally posted at Yahoo.

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or other neutral oil, plus extra for brushing pan
2 cups rolled oats
½ cup mixed seeds, such as pumpkin, sunflower and sesame
½ cup honey
½ cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
Pinch of salt
1 ½ cups mixed dried fruit, such as raisins, cherries, apricots, papaya, pineapple and cranberries (at least 3 kinds, cut into small pieces if large)
1 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
2 tablespoons of butter

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, letting a few inches hangs over side of pan. Brush with oil
2. Spread oats and seeds on another baking pan and toast in oven just until golden and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes, shaking pan once.
3. In a saucepan, combine oil, butter, honey, brown sugar, maple syrup and salt. Stir over medium heat until smooth and hot. In a mixing bowl, toss together toasted oats and seeds, dried fruit and cardamom. Pour hot sugar mixture over and stir until well combined.
4. While mixture is warm, transfer to prepared pan, pressing into pan evenly with an offset spatula.
5. Bake until brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack and let cool completely. Using the overhanging foil or paper, lift out of pan and place on a work surface Cut into bars, about 1 ½ inches by 3 inches.

Inspiring Women at the 2011 AALU Annual Meeting Today!

Today is going to be a great day! That’s because I get to do what I love best… talk! (LOL, seriously, I was voted “most talkative” in middle school and high school). No. What I love best is engaging people and helping them think differently about their health and wellness. I want people to see their daily choices about nutrition, exercise, and managing stress as self-care. Unfortunately, we don’t. Most women (97%) spend most days “bashing” the way they look. We don’t get any help from certain forms of media either. Take this month’s issue of Marie Claire. They published self-proclaimed “nutritionists” daily food journals. One woman starved herself all day and then binged on fruit, smoothies, and a box of macaroons once she finally let herself eat at dinner time. That’s disordered. Period. And any real nutrition expert with proper training would be able to tell you that (as if you couldn’t figure that out for yourself!)

So today is going to be a great day! Today I get to speak with influential women and clear the air. I’ll bust some serious myths about healthy eating… such as “eating after 7p.m. causes weight gain”. I’ll take them on a “flavor tour” tasting four different chocolates and documenting flavor notes. (This is a stealth way of teaching mindful eating, using all their senses. Savoring chocolate and choosing your favorite based on taste, not a food label.) I’ll show them how they can start with any food and “add nutrition” by adding veggies, nuts or seeds, beans, and herbs. We’ll also make a vitality fruit smoothie (banana split flavor – oh yeah!) using the approach of “add nutrition” – and the best part is I’ll be working with a 12 year-old girl (the granddaughter of the President of the women’s group).

I get so excited about every speaking engagement like it is the best one I’m going to do. I realize that I might only have an hour of their time. But a lot can happen in an hour. I hope to bring a more positive message about health, wellness, and body image to the group. I hope to change at least one person’s life today.

(And one other cool thing… yet totally unrelated… I’m speaking after George Bush! I won’t even run into him as we are in different rooms. This meeting boasts a list of major “world class” speakers Dennis Miller, Steven D. Levitt author of Freakonomics, Veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile… just to name a few! I kinda can’t believe I’m part of this meeting.)

Learn more about my speaking: www.nurtureprinciples.com and my online community for self care the “ME” movement on Twitter @ScritchfieldRD and #mefirst

We Need Wellness Policies to Create Healthy Communities

By: Hannah Barker, Dietetic Intern, with assistance from Rebecca

This week I participated in a webinar called, “Looking Upstream: How Income, Education and Racial Disparities Shape Health.” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation was the host. The expert panel included: Dr. James Marks from the Health Group at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Paula Braverman from the University of California in San Francisco, David Williams from the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard University, and Steven Woolf from the Virginia Commonwealth University.

We Spend a Lot on Healthcare for Such a Sick Country

I learned that the United States spends so much on health care, yet ranks poorly in terms of several health indicators, like infant mortality and life expectancy.  However, the cause of the United States’ poor health cannot just be attributed to the factors we normally consider – medical care, genetic make-up, natural environment, behaviors and nutrition; rather, the cause of poor health can also be attributed to “upstream” factors such as race, income, and education.

You might have heard that non-Hispanic whites are likely to have a five-year greater life expectancy than other races and poverty is linked to poor health. But while this may seem unsurprising to you, the solutions to these problems may come across as unique and inspiring.

Policies Needed to Prevent Disease in Communities

The panelists urged prevention.  They advocated to support policies that promote more walkable cities, affordable housing and worksite wellness programs – just to name a few – to help promote the health and nutrition of our communities.

Currently, the poorest neighborhoods are the least likely to have access to recreation centers, playgrounds and even sidewalks. Why is that?  Why are we not investing there? American communities need walkable cities to help ensure that more children and families have space to walk, ride their bikes and achieve the necessary physical activity to prevent chronic disease.  You can’t bake a cake without eggs and you can’t drive a car without gas – how can people exercise without fun and safe places to do so. Imagine, a working mom takes an odd shift to be home with her kids, wouldn’t it be great if they could play together before dinner at a nearby park, which they walked to on the sidewalk. It’s basic.

I think D.C. does a good job at providing access to physical activity to residents. We have programs for kids and families, recreation centers and indoor and outdoor pools! Check out their website: DC’s Department of Parks and Recreation

Healthy Employees, Happy Companies

Worksite wellness programs should be implemented in all fields of employment. Are there incentives for small businesses to educate and motivate their employees? What about the local deli owner or dress shop? They may have 5 or so employees – is there incentive for them to help keep their employees healthy?

Take a Page from Community Programs

Organizations like Operation Frontline and Brain Food currently lead programs to teach parents and children about cooking nutritious (and delicious) meals and eating healthy on a budget; however, these organizations cannot do it alone.  They rely on the kind hearts of volunteers to make a difference in the lives of those with the greatest NEED by the statistics.

Be the Change!

You can make an “upstream” difference by just volunteering for one of these organizations, or attending local meetings (town halls, open local government sessions etc.) to support policies related to health and nutrition. You can help be a solution to these statistics!

What do you think is needed to improve the health of our communities?

Need a nutritionist? See a registered dietitian.

Who hoo! It’s a blog carnival for registered dietitians, celebrating #RDday (for those twitter-ers). Be sure to check back at this post for links to other blogs by my RD colleagues participating. I can’t wait to get into my piece, but I just can’t help myself to use this opportunity to explain what and RD is and why we are essential to the health and wellness of the people and a healthy economy.

What is an RD?

When you’re sick and you need to see a doctor, your doctor has a credential – the “MD” – which stands for medical doctor. The nurse takes your weight and blood pressure – and that person has a credential too – the “RN” – which stands for registered nurse. Then there’s the RD – which stands for registered dietitian. It’s the credential for food and nutrition experts who are qualified to help you eat right to manage your weight, prevent a disease, optimize your sports performance, manage an existing medical condition (from diabetes to high cholesterol to food allergies and many more,) overcome a clinical eating disorder or sub-clinical disordered eating habits.

If you’re not in the hospital, you’re likely to see an RD who owns their own business in private practice (like me!) or perhaps working in an outpatient setting as part of a medical practice (like bariatric surgery or other areas). The bottom line is this: the connection between your nutrition habits and your health is undeniable. It’s also complicated. RDs need to understand the intricacies of food and disease/condition prevention (wellness) and management. We also need to know how to work with HUMANS (not robots that can be programmed) on how to change behaviors… and lemme tell ya, it is different for every person! So if you really NEED help. If you want to overcome your nutrition-related challenges. Make sure you go to someone with the ONLY gold-standard credential that requires a 4 year degree, a year “internship” (more like a residency – it’s hard, internship is a huge understatement), passing a board exam (just like doctors, nurses, and psychologists), in many states licensure, and then maintaining all of this by collecting “continuing education” units. We essentially have to fill out our own training plans and complete report cards to CADE (check it out here, if you want to learn more). If you wanna see a nutritionist, see an RD. Call around to several in your area and interview them. I LOVE IT WHEN MY CLIENTS WANT TO TALK TO ME BEFORE BOOKING AN APPOINTMENT. You also need to know this sad truth: Anyone can call themselves a “nutritionist” or a “certified health coach” (give me a break). They often will spend time “beating down” RDs in an attempt to discredit them. You need to know a key marketing strategy is to PUT DOWN the #1 spot in an attempt to raise their own profile and try to convince you that you need them. It’s just marketing. They are trying to influence you. But this is your health we’re talking about. You deserve excellent (and legal) nutrition care. Demand a dietitian! Now you know. (YAAAAAY FOR DIETITIANS)

(addendum added 2:52 p.m. March 9th) You don’t need to be an RD if you are a personal trainer or health coach and want to follow USDA guidelines and give a talk or general advice about nutrition — the kinds of information you can get online.

Why RDs are Essential for a Healthy Economy

Congress can’t stop talking about the health care bill. Basically, it could bankrupt us. We’re living longer because medicine is getting better, but the quality of life is in the pits at this older age, especially if a person gets a chronic disease. Four modifiable health risk behaviors—lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption—are responsible for much of the illness, suffering, and early death related to chronic diseases. (dietitians work with all of these in a nutrition assessment and we collaborate with experts who work with overcoming addictions, medical doctors, therapists and whomever else you need).

Treating patients with chronic diseases accounts for 75 percent of the nation’s health care spending. Many Americans are unaware of the extent to which chronic diseases could be better prevented or managed. The doubling of obesity between 1987 and today accounts for 20 to 30 percent of the rise in health care spending. (source: http://www.fightchronicdisease.org/issues/about.cfm)

Need I say more?

Capsaicin for Weight Loss?

By Carlene Helble-Elite Nutrition Intern

Have you ever taken a big bite of salsa only to recoil at the intense spice? The big bang happening with each scoop is due to capsaicin. Capsaicin is found in super hot peppers, like cayenne, but you may have also seen it as a topical cream or dietary supplement. The capsaicin within that spicy hot food is doing you some good by acting as an antioxidant but also strengthens lung tissues, helps relieve pain, and aid digestion among other great things.

The topical cream is actually a pain reliever and anti inflammatory, which first excites pain signals in the body (through nerves in the spinal cord and other areas of the body) and then decreases them. When the cream is applied, the ‘substance P’, which is an important transmitter of a pain message going to the brain, is inhibited.

Capsaicin as a supplement  is used as a digestion aid by amping up the amount of digestive juices in your stomach and fighting bad bacteria. Besides pain relief and digestive help, this chemical compound has research indicating capsaicin can help prevent heart disease by preventing clotting, hardening of the arteries, and lowering blood cholesterol levels.

Recent research in the International Journal of Obesity by Maastricht University in the Netherlands, is showing capsaicin can also decrease appetite, leaving the weight loss world is on the edge of its seat. During a study, 24  men and women were given about ½ a teaspoon of red pepper, close to .9 g of the red pepper which contains 0.25% capsaicin, thirty minutes before every meal. Other members of the study were given a placebo without their knowledge. After eating their meal, the subjects’ saity increased when they were given the red pepper, and less calories and fat was consumed. Those who took the placebo had minimal change in saity compared to saity after a meal when they didn’t take the placebo. The study also found that post consumption, more energy was expended by those involved in the test. Capsaicin creates these results by increasing thermogenesis (the body burning energy from food released as heat), “enhancing catecholamine secretion from the adrenal medulla”.  The increase in thermogenesis suggests a change in “substrate oxidation from carbohydrate to fat oxidation”. These amazing outcomes that say capsaicin increases fat burning and weight loss almost seem too good to be true! The results are legitimate and strong, but like all new research, multiple studies should be done to test the consistency.

That spicy kick in your food has great benefits! From anti-inflammatory properties to current results indicating fat burning, capsaicin is a powerhouse. Eat those peppers! Just be smart about it. Some red pepper flakes on 4 slices of thick crust pizza aren’t going to do much for fat burning.

Dr. Oz Viewing and Twitter Party!

January 3, 2011 is a day you wanna mark down, sit down at a computer and turn on your TV. Cause we are gonna blow up Twitter with a fun live chat during the Dr. Oz episode “11 Weeks to Move it and Lose it”. Check time and channel by zip code.

This one of–a–kind online initiative will provide customized tools to knock off the pounds and transform people’s bodies and lives by giving participants their very own personal trainer and their own individually tailored weight loss plan (a value of $99 a month) absolutely free. During the show, Dr. Oz will
go through the easy step-by-step process of how and when to sign up for the program plus reap incredible benefits and giveaways.

Did someone say incentives???

To help kick off the “11 Weeks to Move It and Lose It” campaign, THE DR. OZ SHOW is partnering with the Nike SPARQ Training Network (NSTN), selected based on their unique expertise and knowledge in the health and fitness field. This team of experts (11 trainers and 11 health/nutrition experts) will be able to provide guidance and motivation, results–focused webcasts, exercise videos, behavior modification tips and answer health and fitness questions all at the touch of a mouse. (have not been able to find a link on the experts yet). On the website www.doctoroz.com, participants can track their progress and food intake with these unique tools:

  • Food logging – Participants can enter virtually any food from a database over 70,000 foods (even from popular restaurants) to keep track of calorie and nutrient intake as well as receive suggested lifestyle menus to help plan out meals.
  • Setting weight loss goal /tracking – In order to help participants determine a realistic goal for 11 weeks, a customized calendar will monitor progress and set goals with reminders of where you need to be every day based on height, weight, BMI, age, and lifestyle.
  • Health assessment – Participants can take a quiz to evaluate diet and exercise based on current health.
  • Weight loss community – Participants will get the chance to talk to others on the plan and gain support as they work through the challenges. People can also see real–time updates on their progress and get tips and professional advice from the NSTN for motivation.
  • Exercise – Videos and webcasts will help participants lose the pounds and get them on the road to healthier living.
  • Product – Participants will receive recommendations from the NSTN with regard to specific products that will support their chosen exercise programs.

Tweet with Us (and Fit Bottomed Girls)

Whether you are already a guru, in the middle of your journey, or feel inspired to start changes in 2011 — your thoughts matter. Use your voice on Twitter. Watch with us and send your tweets out there to share your thoughts on the program. Let’s use #DrOzMILI (Dr. Oz Move It Lose It) as the hash tag. Share your blog posts too. Will you try the program? Why/why not?

Follow @ScritchfieldRD and @FitBottomedGirl and let us know you will be on the Twitter chat on January 3rd!

11 Weeks to Move It Lose It

Viewers can sign up for the “11 Weeks to to Move It or Lose It” program simply by going to www.doctoroz.com. Enrollment is available free of charge for the entire 11 weeks. THE DR. OZ SHOW will be monitoring progress of individuals and exploring various components of the 11 week program throughout January and February.

Knowledge Doesn’t Necessarily Lead to Smart Choices

This is a direct line from my “Nurture Principles – find wellness within” keynote. I can honestly say that there are things I know I should do but don’t. So big deal we’re human, right? Well… not so fast. I think the disconnect here is that we don’t think about the long-term impact of our day-to-day choices. We’re just getting through the day. Hence, we easily say we don’t have time, motivation, or money to exercise. We not only need to know our DAILY CHOICES MATTER, but we also need to BELIEVE that our ACTIONS can make a difference!

I was reading this MSNBC article about a recent survey that demonstrated our lifestyle choices don’t match our fears.

The Bupa Health Pulse survey found that four in five, or 80 percent, say they are worried about developing chronic diseases.

According to the Geneva-based World Health Organisation, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases accounted for almost a third of all deaths around the world in 2005.

Nearly half of the 12,000 people questioned across 12 countries admitted they only exercise for an hour a week or less.

When asked to name their biggest barrier to making healthier lifestyle choices, 24 percent of those surveyed cited lack of time, almost a fifth cited motivation and 14 percent blamed the expense.

“We know from research that exercise is one of the most effective lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of developing long-term conditions,” said Julien Forder, a senior research fellow at the LSE, who worked on the report. “Nearly a third of cardiovascular disease and more than a quarter of diabetes could be avoided if everyone started to exercise.”

When asked about the fears of developing chronic diseases, a third of respondents were most worried about cancer compared to only 11 percent being most worried about heart disease, and only 8 percent about diabetes.

(Reporting by Kate Kelland, editing by Paul Casciato)

It seems to me that they are “worried” but not that worried. They don’t want to face it right now. Too much “else” going on. Well, if not now, then when? Hopefully it won’t be too late. Because you can’t wish away years of unhealthy behavior. What are YOU doing to take care of yourself? What would you say to people working on taking that first BIG step?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Diet Therapy

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female hormonal disorder, affecting approximately 5%-10% of all females. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that involves multiple tissues and organ systems within the body, and is believed to be fundamentally caused by insensitivity to the hormone insulin Diet and Nutrition play a large role in treatment of this disorder, and food is medicine in this disease state. Registered Dietitians can help to maintain weight, and alleviate some of the symptoms by adjusting diet and lifestyle choices. Here are some important things to remember if you have been diagnosed with PCOS:

Signs and Symptoms:

According to MayoClinic the symptoms often begin soon after menarche, but it can also develop later in life. Infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods, excess hair growth, acne, and obesity can all occur in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Additionally, PCOS is also the most common cause of female infertility.

Insulin resistance occurs frequently in those with PCOS, meaning the body cannot use insulin effectively to regulate blood sugar. This can result in high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes. The long-term complications are quite serious and include heart disease and stroke. Compared with women of a similar age who don’t have polycystic ovary syndrome, women with PCOS are more likely to be overweight or obese.

When to see a doctor

Early diagnosis and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome may help reduce your risk of long-term complications. Talk with your doctor if you have menstrual irregularities — such as infrequent periods, prolonged periods or no menstrual periods — and have excess hair on your face and body or acne. Regular checkups are key to timely diagnosis. Find a medical professional that specializes in PCOS here

Treatment:

There is no cure to PCOS, but there are methods to control it and reduce the risk including:

  • Weight control
  • regular exercise
  • healthy diet
  • not smoking

Lifestyle modification through diet is an effective and important part of the treatment for PCOS. There is no doubt that making changes to your eating can result in weight loss, improved fertility, and overall improvement in health. Obesity makes insulin resistance worse, and weight loss can reduce both insulin and androgen levels and restore ovulation. Exercise also helps lower blood sugar levels, so should be part of your daily regime.  A Registered Dietitian would be able to help you create a meal plan for optimal health; find one near you!

While PCOS is a serious condition, through behavior and lifestyle modifications the symptoms can be treated and reduced. Registered Dietitians are here to help you become a healthier you! Newly diagnosed? Check out the MayoClinic or PCOS Support pages.

Do you or anyone you know have PCOS? What has been some of your experiences and what role did you find diet played?

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