Nutrition month motto: Path to fitness, health is 100 percent fad free

Courtesy of the Cannon Health and Wellness Center

For National Nutrition Month 2007, organizers have decided that their motto will be “The Best Path to Fitness and Health Is to Be 100 Percent Fad Free.”
Diet fads come and go, and some may help people lose weight — in the short term. For National Nutrition Month, the American Dietetic Association says the most effective long-term way to achieve a healthful lifestyle is to be 100 percent fad free.
“Following a diet plan and losing weight in the short term is relatively easy,” said registered dietitian and Air Combat Command consultant dietitian, Maj. Maureen Harback. “If you eat less, you will lose weight. The question you need to ask yourself is whether you see yourself living like this for months and years. It is much more likely you will stick with small changes that will gradually add up to long term weight loss and better health.”
Airmen should keep in mind these National Nutrition Month key messages to enjoy a healthy lifestyle:
— Develop an eating plan for lifelong health. Too often, people adopt the latest food fad rather than focusing on overall health. Get back to basics and use the new dietary guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid as a guide to healthy eating.
— Choose foods sensibly by looking at the big picture. A single food or meal won’t make or break a healthful diet. When consumed in moderation, all foods can fit into a healthful diet.
— Learn how to spot a food fad. Unreasonable or exaggerated claims that eating or not eating specific foods, nutrient supplements or combinations of foods may cure disease or offer quick weight loss are key features of fad diets.
— Find your balance between food and physical activity. Regular physical activity is important for maintaining overall health and fitness, plus it helps control body weight, promotes a feeling of well-being and reduces the risk of future chronic diseases.
— Food and nutrition misinformation can have harmful effects on health and well-being, as well as wallets.
Registered dietitians are uniquely qualified to communicate current and emerging science-based nutrition information and are an instrumental part of developing a diet plan that meets an individuals needs.
Through National Nutrition Month, created in 1973, the American Dietetic Association promotes healthful eating by providing practical nutrition guidance and focusing attention on making informed food choices and developing sound physical activity habits.
National Nutrition Month also reminds consumers that nutrition professionals are their most valuable and credible source of timely, science-based information.
The Air Force employs over 100 registered dietitians and 400 diet technicians to assist members in making healthy choices.
Contact the Cannon Health and Wellness Center at 784-1004 or visit www.eatright.org for more information.