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Tag: nutrition education

Lifestyle Changes Help Reduce Cardiometabolic Risk

Chronic conditions now dominate healthcare, both in terms of expenditures and effects on patient quality of life. Over half of Americans have at least one diagnosed chronic condition. When solely considering cardiometabolic syndrome, 57.5% of Americans are estimated to have prediabetes, undiagnosed diabetes, or diabetes, and rates of metabolic syndrome continue to rise. To effectively treat this epidemic of chronic illness, and the overwhelming rates of cardiovascular disease, it is critical to arm both patients and providers with knowledge surrounding lifestyle modifications.

Christos S. Mantzoros, MD, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, recently confirmed the critical importance of investigating & researching lifestyle changes for cardiometabolic risk: including nutrition and adherence to healthy diets, sufficient exercise, smoking cessation, and other factors that can help mitigate cardiometabolic risk. “This is a very important topic that is often overlooked,” said Dr. Mantzoros at the Heart in Diabetes Clinical Education Conference. He clarified that it is often “cumbersome and time-consuming” for clinicians to dispense practical advice to patients, and many prefer to outsource to dietitians.

Yet given statistics that indicate over 30% of the country’s population is obese—and more than one-third are considered overweight—apathy is no longer an option. Mantzoros offered supplemental suggestions that could help patients reduce cardiometabolic risk, encouraging adherence to plant-based diets, the consumption of less trans and saturated fats; moderation of alcohol, and participation in physical activity & exercise.

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Childhood Obesity Epidemic Worsens

Childhood obesity in America is on the rise, and at rates higher than previous studies suggested, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. The findings emerged after researchers analyzed federal data from the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the “gold standard” in childhood and fitness research which every two years collects data about adult and children obesity across the country.

In 1999, according to the survey, about 29 percent—more than a quarter—of children ages 2 to 19 were overweight. By 2016, that figure rose to 35 percent, according to the latest analysis, and about one in five children are obese.

Asheley Cockrell Skinner, an associate professor at Duke University and lead study author who has worked with these data for more than a decade, said she has seen in her research that “once a kid has developed obesity, it’s a lot harder to change it. It’s much easier to prevent obesity than it is to reverse it.”

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