Enlightened Food & Nutrition Resolutions include diversity, poverty, illiteracy and human rights.

Become Enlightened with These Food & Nutrition Resolutions

ENLIGHTENMENT COMES WITH KNOWING MORE ABOUT THE FOOD AND NUTRITION ISSUES OF OTHERS

This post was originally written during my 2 1/2 year tenure as a blogger for Health Goes Strong. The site was deactivated on July 1, 2013, but you can read it here.

I’ve seen my fair share of “diet, exercise, lose weightresolutions as a registered dietitian. Fortunately for me, I’ve never had to make those kinds of resolutions. I just live it every day.

My resolutions are more of the self-enlightenment variety. It’s a continual process to be more aware of the world around me and my place in it.

That’s why I take a little more time to make my New Year’s Resolutions. It’s like buying shoes. I don’t like the blisters that go with either if they rub me wrong.

Instead I walk around in my new resolutions for a while to see if they feel as good after a few days as they did when I first tried them on.

I’ve been breaking in some resolutions for 2012 over this past week. They’re now at the point where they feel right. The next big step is, of course, to share them. Making a public announcement is like throwing out the receipt for a new pair of shoes. There’s no taking them back after that.

In my role as a registered dietitian blogger, I hereby resolve that when writing or speaking about food and nutrition I will:

Acknowledge the diversity of the U.S. population in age, ethnicity and religion as well as income, education and geography – all factors that impact food choice and dietary patterns.

Recognize that the food supply and health care in this country are determined by economic and political forces, not human rights, so until that changes everyone does not get their fair share.

Never forget that nearly half of the U.S. population now lives below the poverty line or are counted as low income when all living costs are factored into their budget, making eating well a bigger challenge. 2010 Census Bureau data

Not overlook the fact 22 percent of American adults score below basic literacy levels, so are not capable of understanding basic food and nutrition information or making informed healthcare decisions. National Centers for Education Statistics.

Are you doing all you can to understand the needs of those around you?

): Investing in childhood nutrition saves money in healthcare costs

Good Pediatric Care Offers Solution to Healthcare Crisis

Cost of healthcare can be reduced if children learn to eat right

While the nation continues to search for a way to resolve the healthcare crisis, I am convinced the answer lies in making sure every child in the country has good pediatric care. Other than selecting your own grandparents for their longevity genes, getting goo healthcare in the first two decades of life is the best way to improve your odds of beating your actuarial table.

Let me explain.

The growth and development of a healthy child require fresh air and water, a balanced diet, time to play, plenty of sleep and a safe environment. Adequate immunization and education seal the deal.

Accidents are the only leading cause of death in the U.S. (at number 5) that are not completely preventable, but virtually all of the others are.

Diet plays a major role in each of the top three causes of death while smoking controls the fourth:

  1. Heart disease
  2. Cancer
  3. Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases)
  4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases

So as I see it, the single best way to topple this country’s runaway healthcare costs is to make sure every child has an adequate diet throughout their childhood and adolescence. Establishing healthy eating habits at an early age is the best way to insure those habits will continue for the rest of one’s life and continue to protect one’s health. Trying to change poor eating habits in adulthood is far more difficult.

Pediatric healthcare providers have a distinct advantage when it comes to promoting good nutrition to their patients because the nutritional needs of children are remarkably the same around the world. They need foods of the right consistency, variety and quantity to thrive, yet no single food other than breast milk is universally found in the diets of children. Their undeveloped palates leave them open to experience and enjoy many new tastes and textures if regularly introduced, so there is no need to create special foods and menus just for kids.

To prevent overeating children should not receive external pressures to consume more than they want. Instead be allowed to respond to their internal cues of hunger and satiety. The same is true about eating for other external reasons, such as when food is used as a reward or to meet emotional needs. When these inappropriate relationships with food are not encouraged, children learn to eat for the right reasons and avoid the “food issues” that lead so many people to overeat today.

It almost sounds too simple to be true, but “you are what you eat.” The sooner in life we get that right, the better off we’ll all be.

Related articles:

Research on Mindless Eating Offers New Insight into Obesity

Guess What? There Are No Junk Foods!