The Weight of the Nation

Did you know that 1 out of 5 of kids drinks three or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day, accounting for an extra meal? With Mayor Bloomberg proposing a ban in New York City over sugary drinks and the Disney channel banning junk food advertisements, it’s no secret that America is facing an obesity epidemic. Along with childhood obesity rates on the rise, chronic heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes have also increased over the past few years. Type 2 Diabetes, which  was once primarily diagnosed in old age, is now a common medical concern in children. While obesity-health related problems have been a looming crisis for quite some time, recently HBO launched a documentary, drawing quite a lot of attention to  the nation’s obesity crisis. The Weight of the Nation: Confronting America’s Obesity Epidemic, is a four part series focusing on consequences, choices, children in crisis, and challenges. To those who believe that the root of childhood obesity stems from a lack of parental responsibility in educating their children or a lack of exercise, Weight of the Nation presents viewers with an all-around perspective on the complexity of the issue.

Obesity is very complex and the documentary does a good job highlighting the many factors that contribute to the issue like poverty, genetics, food culture, personal responsibility, environment, issues of diet and lack of exercise. Issues with childhood obesity are caused in part by a lack of nutrition education, over-processed school food lunches, the overwhelming access to nutrient-poor foods conveniently located everywhere you go, and how video games and electronics have replaced outdoor and sport activities as a means for childhood entertainment. If the weight epidemic is not addressed,  Americans will eventually wind up paying even more for the cost of treating obesity-related illness. As obesity contributes to 5 of the 10 leading causes of death in America, it has added a whopping $150 billion to health costs now and according to the documentary, may hit or exceed $300 billion by 2018.

While the various factors that make solving the obesity epidemic seem nearly impossible, the biggest take-away from the series is that the nation’s weight crisis can be reversed. While some critics point out that the series is “too blunt” or “too graphic,” The Weight of the Nation is a wake-up call, drawing awareness to the depth of the problem and most importantly, a chance for us to fix it. Whether it’s taking the stairs or walking to work, change begins with the individual and we can start by integrating physical activity into our daily lives. In fact, the documentary points out that losing as little as 5% of your weight can improve your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and also lowers diabetes risk by nearly 60% in people with pre-diabetes. The show’s statistics, backed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and the Institute of Medicine among others, shows hope that even small improvements can make a difference.

 

 

 

The Epidemic of Diabetes

Hydrate with water, not soda

Regardless of weight and age, America is heading towards a Diabetes epidemic. Americans must change their lifestyles by moving more, and eating less.

Diabetes does not discriminate based on overall weight. America needs to focus on decreasing belly fat, specifically, eating less processed food and moving more.

 

Based on the study reported in the Journal of Pediatrics, Diabetes is increasing in our teen population. There was a 14% increase in prediabetes and diabetes in a ten year period. In 1999 – 2000, there was a 9% incidence of prediabetes and diabetes in teenagers between ages 12- 19. In 2007- 2008, there was a 23 % incidence of prediabetes and diabetes. This is more than two fold. However, the study also revealed this was regardless of weight. Across the weight spectrum, all teens had an increase in the incidence of Diabetes. In my mind, this is a Diabetes Epidemic not an obesity epidemic.

Obesity did not increase in our youth during this ten year period from 1999 – to 2008. One study from the NHANES reports an actual decrease in teen obesity, despite an increase in prediabetes and diabetes. Also, half of the participants in the study had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which means everyone needs intervention.

So what is the intervention? It depends on who you ask but the many agree America must move more, eat less processed food, and practice stress relief. America is eating too much and not moving enough. We are a culture of convenience. People need to eat because they are hungry rather than bored. We need to eliminate highly processed food such as chips and soda. We need to feel full with fiber and drink for hydration. Simple solutions are to replace chips with fiber rich berries and soda with bubbly water like Perrier. Ideally, we need to decrease insulin resistance and belly bulge (aka abdominal obesity).

The study admits to flaws. One of the flaws is the tool BMI – Body Mass Index. This measurement tool uses overall weight and height, not accounting for muscle mass and frame. Football players are considered obese when using BMI. A better tool to assess for obesity, belly fat, insulin resistance and or risk for diabetes would be the waist to height ratio. This tool would not qualify the typical football player as obese.

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to share some of these thoughts with the HLN audience. Click here to see the clip.

 

May AL, Kuklina EV, Yoon PW. Prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors among US adolescents, 1999−2008. Pediatrics. 2012;peds.2011-1082.

Outrage Over the Tube Feeding Diet

Tube Feeding Diet

Searching for the perfect wedding dress can be stressful but in that one moment when all eyes are looking at you, the pressure  to  look beautiful and feel beautiful can escalate. Now more and more often, bride-to-be’s  are looking for quick and simple weight loss solutions. One diet that has recently grabed a lot of attention from the media is the Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition Diet—also known as the Feeding Tube Diet. Utilized by people who are looking for rapid weight loss, this procedure involves a constant flow of liquid nourishment that runs from the nose, through the esophagus and into the stomach. While people can lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time, there are many important factors to consider.

Misuse of Medicine: Tube Feeding is approved for gaining weight and providing nutrition. Tube Feeding is warranted in a state of malnutrition not to cause malnutrition One can still eat with NG tubes, so why not just eat less food? There are medical risks to tube feeding.

Eating Disorders: Tube feedings are used to in extreme cases to refeed people suffering from an eating disorder. Encouraging a tube feeding diet may trigger an eating disorder.

Temporary Weight Loss Extreme dieting is neither healthy nor permanent. Weight is quickly regained as fat after extreme diets.

Honeymoon Weight gain Brides are likely to puff up with swelling once they resume drinking fluids and eating on their honeymoon. At the end of a two week honeymoon, a woman is likely to have gained the weight back and not fit into the honeymoon clothes. What will happen then?

As a RD, CDE I am appalled by this diet and find it disturbing that women feel the need to go to such extremes for one day in their life. What are your thoughts? Would you do this?

Fresh Press Pickings for April

Click below to stay fresh on Laura’s recent media adventures:

  • The 5 E’s Of Easy Eating Healthy on PageDaily
  • Top Five Servingware Products for a HealthyKid-Friendly Kitchen on MomsTown
  • Laura Dishes on Kiss Feeding with HLN:
  • Meat Your Match: Does Beef Really Kill? on Zeel
  • 9 Ways to Sneak Nutrient-Dense Foods Into Your Diet on Zeel
  • Laura shares her expertise with May 2012 Cosmopolitan readers on page 236

Michelle Obama says Let's Move!

Laura’s Take on the Let’s Move! Campaign. Listen to Laura talk with Rita Cosby on wor710.com on 2/1/2012 or via podcast.

As a leader Michelle Obama is in a unique and powerful position to empower Americans to live healthier lives. She can influence food companies to provide less processed, higher quality foods to schools and to our supermarket shelves. She can raise the energy and spirit of health by advocating for health awareness and encouraging physical activity. Her celebrity status can help bring the USDA’s “MyPlate” to more families’ tables.  She can help spread the message to fill your plate with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy. Thankfully, Michelle Obama also stresses moderation and admits to eating her burgers and fries.

Let’s Move! is taking information that is already out there and bringing a greater awareness on how to access such health education. Many of the materials and guidelines are those developed by the USDA.

Michelle Obama has companies like Goya and California Fresh Work Funds trying to help initiative change.

Is this the right campaign?

At the end of the day, bringing awareness to health promotion and disease prevention needs to be the ultimate goal of someone like Michelle Obama. However, rather than fight obesity, the campaign may want to rephrase their negative spin and create a new positive tone to Let’s Move!

How about let’s move more, let’s move towards eating real wholesome foods and let’s move towards eating less processed food. Let’s move to building self esteem!!!

Can one person create change?

Yes, Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution and The Biggest Loser are just two examples of how change happens. Even, the presidential chef is making change. In the Washington Post today, the presidential chef Cristeta Comerford reports losing 15 pounds and eating healthier with her own home garden. She was influenced by her boss, Michelle Obama!! That’s right, the White House has their own garden and serves seasonal garden veggies to their guests. Comerford now has her own garden too.

 

What can you do to make a difference? Can you change your language about health or perhaps just add a half cup of veggies to your dinner plate?

 

 

The Hollywood Image

The Hollywood image that’s plastered everywhere—online, on TV, in magazines– is simply not realistic and can be harmful. Yet, it’s what some women and men strive for. They may see how skinny Demi Moore or LeAnn Rimes have gotten and think this is the ideal. I want to remind everyone that most people do not have such bodies naturally!  Most people do not have the time or money to focus on their bodies the way the Hollywood stars do. Most people can’t afford a full staff of a dietitian, a trainer, an esthetician, a chef, and a dermatologist…. Plus, celebrities are getting paid A LOT of money to look this way and if they don’t meet the criteria there is always editing and airbrushing to attain the super skinny, youthful look. To meet the Hollywood ideal, most men and women need to restrict their intake to a caloric level that is equivalent with that of an eating disorder. Most stars don’t acknowledge that they have an issue, although Victoria’s Secret model Adriana Lima openly admitted recently that she simply stopped eating solid food 12 whole days before the Angel runway show!

Remember, beauty is from the inside and shines when one is confident from their inner core. There is a great new web site promoting a new definition of beauty – check it out at www.BeautyRedefiend.net/.

 

Beauty Redefined Sticky-Notes

 

Laura shares with Fox Business on how to save money by buying healthy.

Save Money With These 5 New Year’s Resolutions

By Dana Dratch

Some New Year’s resolutions can help you save cash. Put the savings in the bank and use it for practical things, such as retirement, groceries or the power bill. Or reward yourself with a night on the town, a much-needed getaway or a new toy.

While you’re ruminating on how you’ll spend your well-gotten gains, here’s a look at just how much keeping five popular resolutions could save you, along with the items that money could buy.

Read more to get the Laura’s latest scoop on food and savings: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/01/04/save-money-with-these-5-new-years-resolutions/#ixzz1j4mCBe5S.

Thank You and Healthy Holiday Wishes

December 23, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you for all of your respect, referrals and support over the past 12 years. As many of you know, I have taken on a number of new adventures in 2011, including:

My gratitude specifically extends to my husband, my children and my parents. With their help I have been able to expand Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services and have had the opportunity to witness my clients’ successful adaptation of moderate nutrition lifestyles.

I look forward to sharing the nutrition message of healthy moderation in parenting, feeding and eating with all of you in 2012. Thank you for your love and support, and continuing to help me spread the message by “liking” my pages on Facebook, sharing my blogs and of course, by living healthily and moderately.

 

Happy and Healthy Wishes for 2012,

Laura Cipullo

 

 

How do you cook for someone with Diabetes?

One of the mantras I remember learning while studying for my CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) exam in 2002 was “A carbohydrate is a carbohydrate.” The message is one can still have their cake and eat it too even if they have diabetes. Timing and quantity are key to eating all foods in moderation.

Read my newsletter to learn Diabetes Cooking 101: http://www.lauracipullollc.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/newsletter2006mar.pdf.