Highlights of June Journal of the American Dietetic Association

June 01, 2004

Too Fat, Too Thin: Weight-Control Behaviors among Girls and Boys

The future health of our country's children may rest in the foods they choose and their physical activity patterns. Often children are not eating the recommended servings from the Food Guide Pyramid. Their intake of milk is declining, while soft drink intake and overall food portion sizes appear to be increasing.

To examine links between healthful and unhealthful weigh-control behaviors, researchers from the University of Minnesota studied dietary intake patterns of 4,144 middle and high school students.

Healthful weight-control behaviors were defined as increasing fruits and vegetables and decreasing foods high in fats and sugars in moderation. Unhealthful weight-control behaviors were defined as skipping meals, fasting, using food substitutes and smoking.

Among other findings, the researchers discovered: "The key to fostering lifelong healthy behavior--in children and through our lives--is education," said registered dietitian and ADA Spokesperson Jeannie Moloo. "Keeping kids healthy requires coordinated commitment and cooperation from parents, schools, restaurants, the food industry and all health professionals."

Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Nutrition and Women's Health

Women are at risk for numerous chronic diseases and other health problems that affect many lives each year. There are approximately 150 million women, diverse in age, ethnicity and race, in the United States and Canada. Dietetics professionals are trained experts that can help educate women on the importance of a healthy diet and the link between nutrition and health.

The joint ADA and DC position statement is as follows:

"It is the position of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and Dietitians of Canada (DC) that women have specific nutritional needs and vulnerabilities and, as such, are at unique risk for various nutrition-related diseases and conditions. Therefore, the ADA and the DC strongly support research, health promotion activities, health services and advocacy efforts that will enable women to adopt desirable nutrition practices for optimal health."

"In general, good nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. That applies to gender as much as any other cultural, ethnic or genetic variables," said registered dietitian and ADA spokesperson Rachel Brandeis. "Dietetics professionals can provide individualized nutrition plans for both women and men specific to their overall health needs."
The Journal of the American Dietetic Association is the official research publication of the American Dietetic Association and is the premier peer-reviewed journal in the field of nutrition and dietetics.

With nearly 70,000 members, the American Dietetic Association is the nation's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. Based in Chicago, ADA serves the public by promoting optimal nutrition, health and well-being.

Visit ADA at www.eatright.org.

American Dietetic Association

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