March 22, 2007

Extension Nutritionist Asks Dieters to Be Fad Free

The Scotland County Courthouse was the site for this year’s National Nutrition Month activity which provided every person in each office healthful snacks representing each of the five food groups of MyPyramid, an insulated lunch bag and a pen and note pad with the message “The Best Path to Fitness Is to Be 100% Fad Free”.

Planner of the event, Judy Howard, who is the Nutrition and Health Education Specialist with University of Missouri Extension serving Scotland County and 7 other counties in the Northeast Region, encourages everyone to keep in mind the advantages of a 100% Fad Free lifestyle.

“Diet fads come and go, and some may help you lose weight in the short term,” she said. “You can lose weight on virtually any diet. If you eat less, you will lose weight. The question is, can you maintain a healthy lifestyle over the long term—your life? The real key to reaching long-term health is to focus on your overall health.”

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. University of Missouri Extension nutrition specialists support these same concepts as they provide nutrition education for individuals of all ages. They are a reliable and credible source of timely, science-based nutrition information.

To enjoy a 100% Fad Free lifestyle everyone is encouraged to keep in mind these key messages emphasized during National Nutrition Month 2007:

Develop an eating plan for lifelong health. Too often, people adopt the current fad rather than focusing on overall health. Get back to the basics and use MyPyramid as your guide to healthy eating;

Choose foods sensibly by looking at the big picture. A single food or drink does not make or break a healthful diet. When consumed in moderation in appropriate portions, most 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 your overall health and fitness plus it helps control body weight, promotes a feeling of well-being and reduces the risk of chronic diseases;

Food and nutrition misinformation can have harmful effects on your health and well-being, as well as your wallet.

Your University of Missouri Extension Nutrition Specialist is uniquely qualified to communicate current and emerging science-based nutrition information.

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