March is National Nutrition Month, an opportunity to raise awareness on a very serious health issue a growing number of Americans face every day — the struggle with obesity.
This year's theme is "Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle." National Nutrition Month is a campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the estimated yearly medical cost of obesity in the US was $147 billion in 2008.
The medical costs for obese patients were $1,429 higher than for those of normal weight.
Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer — some of the leading causes of preventable death.
The Children's Heart Center Nevada suggests some simple ways to improve your health:
Make Smart Food Choices
Eat less processed food and more whole grains, lean meats, dairy, fruits and vegetables.
Get Plenty of Activity
Daily physical activity is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle. Regular physical activity strengthens bones and muscles, and reduces the risk of chronic illness.
Get Some Help
Registered dietitians can help you find a tailored eating plan that will help you reach and maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk for chronic diseases. In an interview with dailyRx News, Adrien Paczosa, registered and licensed dietitian and nutritionist and owner of iLiveWell Nutrition Therapy in Austin, TX, agreed.
"If you think about the six key ingredients to nutrition, you'll set yourself up for a lifetime of success," Paczosa said.
Those ingredients are carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and water, Paczosa said.
"Carbohydrates are our body's number one fuel source," Paczosa said. "Proteins help repair and heal. Fats add flavor and make food taste good, but moderation is key. Vitamins and minerals help activate our carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Water is vital to keeping us hydrated and feeling our best."
Paczosa offered additional details in an exclusive interview with dailyRx News. Check out the video for the full story.