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

CDC Obesity Resources

BMI Calculator


Dietary Guidelines for Americans

American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Weight Control

Bipartisan Trust for America’s Health,by%2026%20percent%20since%202008

By Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD


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