Here’s How RDNs and Other Educators Can Help During the Obesity Epidemic

 
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Obesity in the United States is only getting worse. It went from 30.5% to 42.4% in the past two decades. How can health care providers help move the needle on obesity? Here are a few of my ideas...

  • Provide individual as well as group sessions for weight loss. Clients may prefer privacy or may be comfortable sharing and learning from others.
  • Offer simple solutions for physical activity that are reasonable and achievable for clients.
  • Avoid judgement about a client’s use of fad diets or fasting. These may be used to jump-start weight loss and may give them a head start on managing their weight.
  • Refer clients for mental health services if emotional eating is an issue. Pay attention to signs of eating disorders.
  • Encourage small, sustainable steps. Obesity is a chronic condition that cannot be “fixed” overnight.
  • Focus on helping children’s groups and parents of children since that is the group with the largest increase over the past 2 decades. 

Further resources:

CDC Current Obesity Statistics

https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

CDC Obesity Resources

https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/index.html

BMI Calculator

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm

MyPlate

https://www.myplate.gov/

Dietary Guidelines for Americans

https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/

American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Weight Control 

https://www.eatrightpro.org/news-center/nutrition-trends/weight-management

Bipartisan Trust for America’s Health

https://www.tfah.org/report-details/state-of-obesity-2020/#:~:text=Resources&text=The%20U.S.%20adult%20obesity%20rate%20stands%20at%2042.4%20percent%2C%20the,by%2026%20percent%20since%202008

By Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD

 

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