Tag Archives: mary hartley

Obesity Deemed a Disease by the AMA, Medical Establishment Faces Tough Questions

Obesity is no longer a disorder, it’s a disease.

This week, the American Medical Association voted to reclassify obesity—a $150 billion annual health care headache—from a chronic health condition to a disease. According to the CDC, 35 percent of adult Americans are obese. To be considered obese, you must have a Body Mass Index of 30 or higher. A healthy BMI is is between 18 and 25, and the CDC has a handy BMI calculator on their website.

Obesity

Dr. Richard Besser, Chief Health and Medical Editor for ABC News, couldn’t care less about the formalities. “I think it matters little whether we call obesity a disease, a condition, or a disorder,” he told us. “It matters less what we call it than what we do to prevent it.”

The question is, how will medical treatment change in response to this new decision? Labeling obesity a disease quickly left those in the medical establishment with uncertainty about the future of obesity treatment. There are a slew of surgical procedures that combat obesity, none of which cure it completely. The onus is on the patient to follow through with the treatment and reach a healthy weight. Obesity is a unique disease because nutritional education, fitness awareness, and simple willpower are the most effective remedies. “We need to get physical activity back into everyone’s lives, starting with our kids,” said Dr. Besser.

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Big Food’s Deep Pockets Have Infiltrated the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and RDs Won’t Stand for It

The Lorax isn’t directly connected with the dietetic field, but if he speaks for the trees then they are speaking for the health of humanity. The Lorax’s sage words, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not,” could be the motto of a recently formed group called Dietitians for Professional Integrity.

For now their presence is largely on Facebook and they’re working together, with both dietitians and concerned citizens, to make sure the field’s largest trade organization, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), hears not just their complaints but their calls to action.

apple and money

See, the AND accepts sponsorship dollars to keep their organization rolling. But Andy Bellatti, creator of Dietitians for Professional Integrity, and his colleagues are calling bull – these sponsorships are paid for by the very brands these professionals are working hard against.

“Our main initiative is to have the Academy cut ties with its current sponsors,” noted Bellatti.

When you take a look at their on-going corporate sponsors, that’s where you can see how these dietitians are saying the AND “soils the good name of registered dietitians,” according to our Mary Hartley, RD.

Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Hershey, Abbott Nutrition (which produces Similac), General Mills, and Kellogg’s are some of the organization’s major sponsors. It’s cause for red flags amongst the organization’s members and the citizens who support this movement.

“The big picture issue is how Coca-Cola teaches webinars to RDs, how McDonald’s serves lunch at the California Dietetic Association conference, and how PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are financial contributors to the Academy’s Evidence Analysis Library,” declared Bellatti. To that, Monsanto sponsored the New York State Dietetic Association’s annual meeting.

“The organization chooses to align itself with these brands. It’s misguided,” he said. “It makes us look tone deaf during a public health crisis.” (more…)

The Parents’ Checklist for a Proper Weight Loss Camp for Kids

The school year is over and for many parents of overweight kids the pressure is on to decide whether or not to enroll in weight loss camp. Do weight loss camps help or do they make things worse? It depends as much on the family and the child as it does on the camp. Done right, weight loss camp may jump start good habits that last a lifetime. Done wrong, camp may set the stage for years of failed diet attempts with feelings of failure and shame. The decision to take part in weight loss camp is a very important one.

summer camp

Children, teens, and young adults of both genders can go to a weight loss camp, which can last from two to eight weeks and cost between $2000 and $8000. They group children by gender and age to learn about food, nutrition and cooking, athletic skills, and tools to support emotional health. Building positive self-esteem must be a goal of the program.

Menus must be devised by registered dietitians and wholesome communal meals and snacks should be served. In the best camps, the common menu offers around 1700 calories a day, but the camper actually decides how much to eat. Nutrition education helps the child to learn which foods are necessary and appropriate all of the time or just some of the time. Children should learn how and when to start and stop eating. The emphasis should always be on healthy eating, not on calories. (more…)

Dannon Secretly Reduces Sugar in its Kid-Friendly Yogurt. Does It Matter?

If you or your kids are regular consumers of Dannon’s Danimals Smoothies, you’ve been taking in about 25 percent less sugar with each serving. Since February they’ve cut back the sugar in their kid-focused yogurt. They purposefully didn’t make a big deal about it as to avoid scaring off consumers.

danimals less sugar

It’s not the first time a brand has made a change to its formula only to reap the repercussions of consumers who prefer the status quo. McDonald’s faced backlash when switching from an animal fat frying oil to canola over concerns those world-famous fries would taste different. (Today their website boasts the use of a canola oil blend and that all fried foods on its menu are free of trans fats.)

And of course everyone knows the tale of New Coke, when the soft drink company reformulated its soda and became one of the most infamous marketing flops around. So changing something that wasn’t necessarily broken had to be done so in an exacting way by Dannon. It’s no surprise that the brand treaded these sugary waters carefully.

“One thing I have learned is that the main driver of yogurt sales above all is taste,” said Sergio Fuster, senior vice president for marketing at Dannon, to NYTimes.com. “You do not want to send any signal to the consumer that might lead her to believe the taste has changed because she will simply pick up another yogurt — and it may not be ours.” (more…)

Tuesdays with Mary: Join Our Weekly Google Hangout with Expert Dietitian Mary Hartley

We’re pretty proud of our team and constantly working to give you more access to them. Starting April 23, you’ll be able to meet with our resident nutrition expert Mary Hartley, RD each week to have your questions answered and get her take on the latest health and nutrition trends and news.mary hartley

Make sure you’re following DietsInReview on Google+, then mark your calendar every Tuesday at 8p EST / 7p CST for a 30-minute chat with Mary, our managing editor Brandi Koskie, and a couple of our loyal followers.

Yes, YOU can score a seat at the table and have your question answered! Each week we’ll select a few DIR followers to join the chat. (more…)

How Carb-Crazy Jenna Wolfe and Other Pregnant Moms Can Manage Their Cravings

Pregnant moms with odd cravings isn’t news; the two go together like newborns and sleep deprivation. As much as we’d like a cold, hard reason for why we crave things completely out of the ordinary when we’re pregnant, that research doesn’t really exist. It is what it is. Some have said that a craving can be linked to a deficiency, your body’s way of raising a red flag and saying “give me some iron,” but the science to back that up hasn’t yet been found.

So why has Jenna Wolfe, a correspondent for the TODAY Show, been so carb crazy during her pregnancy? Mary Hartley, RD says, “My best guess is that Jenna is craving more calories from carbohydrates relative to her former diet, which may have emphasized protein and only enough calories to maintain a svelte figure.”

Prior to becoming pregnant, Wolfe admits on her TODAY Show blog that she maintained an incredibly healthy diet. Just look at her – that’s all the proof you need! “Yogurt, fruit, nuts, eggs, salad, protein, veggies, grains, protein,” she wrote about the way it was.

Today, her pregnancy diet doesn’t look much different than other moms: “Cold cereal, bagel, order a salad for lunch (good), only eat the croutons from that salad (yeesh), pasta, pasta, a pickle, pasta, dessert.”

“Carbohydrates provide energy, and now Jenna needs enough energy to run two bodies,” commented Hartley. Sure, one body is very little, but it is growing fast! Pregnant women need to eat enough calories to support the baby’s weight gain. ”

But like a lot of moms, Wolfe is feeling the unfair pressure of judgment by other moms. She wrote, “I’m battling the pregnancy pitfalls and am struggling to stay on the fitness track. But please know I’m trying.” (more…)

Fuel Your Kids With Better Sports Practice Snacks

Spring sports are a great way for kids to enjoy the warmer weather and get active. What is not so great are some of the snacks that are provided after practice or a game is done.

Kids do need to refuel after practice, but healthier choices can be made than the snack cakes and soda that are usually made available. Registered dietitian Mary Hartley, our resident nutrition expert, recommends fruit, yogurt, hummus with pita and vegetables, or healthy homemade muffins as wholesome foods that make good after-practice snacks. She warns against soda, candy, chips and other processed foods that contain a lot of sugar and fat. Though eating something after practice is an important step in refueling the body, it shouldn’t take priority over hydration.

After a long practice, it is most important for kids to rehydrate. “Water is fine, but if heavy sweating is an issue, have a sports drink,” said Hartley. She also recommends chocolate milk as a good drink for refueling muscles because of its ratio of carbohydrates to protein. Chocolate milk can also be a good substitute for sugary snacks by providing kids the nutrition they need and satisfying a craving for something sweet. (more…)

Breakfast Proteins Fill You Up, Suppress Appetite

In this fast paced age of instant gratification, young people are skipping breakfast in favor of checking their Instagram while they scramble to get to school or work on time. A new University of Missouri study aimed to quantify the nutritional benefits of the most important meal of the day. Moms in Missouri rejoiced, students were ecstatic for the free grub, and the results were just shy of major significance.

Twenty obese college girls were fed a breakfast high in protein (sausage and eggs), a normal protein breakfast (cereal), or no breakfast at all. Participants were given coolers full of unhealthy snacks to measure their appetite later in the day. While that may have been a misstep by the scientists considering Cheetos and Little Debbies are awfully tempting to any starving college student, the breakfast protein experiment did yield minor results. Researchers found that the more protein consumed during breakfast led to higher appetite satiety and decreased hunger later in the day. (more…)

Stay Hydrated to Beat Winter Weight Gain

It’s the first day of spring and Mother Nature is about to crank up the thermostat, and you’re probably thinking about shedding those winter pounds. For best results, look no further than your kitchen sink; water is everywhere, and there are plenty of drops to drink. Additionally, the impending increase in temperature puts us at greater risk of dehydration, a preventable warm-weather affliction.

In an article published this week, personal trainer and blogger Tony Schober said, “Water makes everything in your body work more efficiently. From fat loss to lubricating your nose, it is involved in every human function.” According to Tony, when you’re not giving your body enough water, it will hold on to its limited internal supply, leading to water retention.” Once you start drinking more water, your body recognizes that it is getting a steady external supply, and it starts letting go of the water weight it’s been holding,” said Tony. The water weight is stored in the waist, face, and ankles, giving the body a bloated and puffy look. (more…)

Tanya Zuckerbrot’s Overhyped 10,000 Dollar Diet

Based on the idea that a high fiber diet promotes nutrition and weight loss without hunger, F-Factor seems like a reasonable diet approach. The creator of the program, Tanya Zuckerbrot, is a registered dietitian who offers her clients 10 one-on-one counseling sessions as part of F-Factor, and it’s generating a lot of buzz.

With high profile clients like former CNBC host Donny Deutsch and current Miss Universe Olivia Culpo, the F-Factor diet plan has gained notoriety in recent months as being a viable weight loss option. The catch? This program will cost you $10,000 if you want the customized version.

For that hefty price tag, clients receive those ten personal sessions as well as an in-depth consultation and education process about weight loss and nutrition. Zuckerbrot also goes over the diet plan with her clients during this initial session, reminding them about the high intake of fiber the diet requires. If clients are interested, they can pay an additional $1,500 each for a supermarket tour and refrigerator and pantry makeover. The high cost of the program begs the question of whether or not F-Factor is worth it, though.

Our resident nutrition expert and registered dietitian Mary Hartley isn’t convinced. (more…)