Kelsey-Seybold Clinic Physicians: Confusion Regarding Diet and Nutrition Endemic Among Women Participating in National Survey
Houston (March 27, 2019) – For many, the first steps to improve eating habits is recognition there's a problem and a hunger to improve behaviors. The next step, however, and executing a plan of action to live a healthier life, is a common stumbling block because of widespread confusion regarding diet and nutrition.
A survey about diet and nutrition evenly distributed across the country to more than 500 women revealed interesting insights. Respondents anonymously answered questions regarding nutrition awareness and dieting. Kelsey-Seybold Clinic physicians reviewed the results and found that while nutritional counseling and information about healthy eating habits are readily available, many are still confused about healthy eating, dieting, and nutrition.
Fifty-five percent of survey respondents were unable to identify the recommended range for the daily caloric intake the average woman needs to maintain a healthy diet, and even fewer – only 25 percent of respondents – were able to identify the range for a normal BMI.
"According to the 2013-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 1 in 3 adults is overweight, and 1 in 3 adults is obese. When an individual makes the decision to lose weight, the first questions they should ask are – 'where do I begin and who should I talk to about my weight loss goals?"' said Amy Chen, M.D., Family Medicine at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – Meyerland. "My answer to people who are serious about getting healthy is to talk to their doctor first. The sheer volume of information regarding dieting and healthy lifestyles can overwhelm even the savviest patient. Begin your weight loss and healthy lifestyle journey with an expert who knows you and your personal health history."
Complicating matters of misinformation, according to market research report: The U.S. Weight Loss & Diet Control Market, published by Marketdata LLC in 2019, the U.S. Weight Loss Market is worth a whopping $72 billion. From meal replacement products, and over-the-counter diet pills, to medical weight loss programs, diet books, and exercise DVDs – the marketplace is saturated with information pertaining to weight loss, healthy lifestyles, and nutrition. Anyone interested in learning about living a healthier life could easily become overwhelmed by the available information – and misinformation.
"Your primary care physician, and medical experts like dietitians, are trained to help patients understand where and how they can make healthier choices, the importance of portion control, and how simple changes can have a big impact in the long term – such as cutting out sugary drinks," said Cherice Conley-Harvey, M.D., Internal Medicine at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – Pearland. "Data points from this survey that surprised me were that 58 percent of respondents didn't know there are 4 grams of sugar in one teaspoon of sugar, and only 34 percent of respondents knew that one serving of pasta is equal to ½ cup of cooked pasta. Understanding this kind of information is key to weight loss success and maintenance."
Of the 500 respondents, 200 indicated they had engaged in a diet within the last six months, including the ketogenic (keto) diet, Weight Watchers, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), Calorie Counting, and Atkins.
"What I want my patients to know is that while I may be their physician, I'm another person facing the same challenges they do in wanting to get to, and maintain, an ideal weight by engaging in a healthy lifestyle," said Marjorie Broussard, M.D., Family Medicine at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – Cinco Ranch. "Finding the right tools can make all of the difference. Digital apps like MyFitnessPal, WeightWatchers, and Nike Training Club have helped me achieve my goals, and I recommend them, and others, to my patients. Make an appointment to see your primary care doctor and talk to him or her about your goals – your doctor may be one of your biggest advocates and someone whose information you can trust to be based on evidence."
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