Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Promoting Healthy Change: Nutrition

So here is another topic that is extensive to cover, but I’ll try to summarize the key take home points I got.  Just like the lack of counseling on exercise, we physicians do not adequately counsel our patients on nutrition.  Some sobering facts:
·      58% of adult obese patients do not report receiving any prior advice from physician about weight loss
·      patients who were told to lose weight were 3 times more likely to attempt weight loss
·      7 out of 10 patients would like to discuss diet
·      2/3 of patients would like to discuss weight loss
·      > 90% say they would make a change if advised by their primary care physician
Tops reasons why physicians neglect to address this topic:
·      time constraint
·      fear of offending
·      lack of medical school training on nutrition counseling
Well so let’s get talking!  I may have to come up with some brochures or fact sheets  or something because a 15min office visit is going to be tough to get into all the nitty gritty.  In a nutshell here are some simple tips…
Tips for Eating Better
·      Eat fruit before snacking
·      Use small plates
·      Never eat form a package (transfer food)
·      Eliminate the cookie jar and replace with fruit bowl
·      Control your environment
I also found these food rules amusing.  It is from Michael Pollan’s, FoodRules: An Eater’s Manual:
·      Eat food
·      It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car
·      Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does
·      Shop the peripheries of the supermarket
·      If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t
·      Cook
To expound on that last point:
·      The average American spends 27 min/day on food preparation and another 4 minues cleaning up (less than half the time spent in 1960’s)
·      What are we doing with the extra time?  Watching cooking shows!
To see what is the current recommendation for food go to
I also like Harvard Public Health’s slight variation at Healthy Eating Plate