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No fad diets key theme to 2007 National Nutrition Month

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- Diet fads come and go, and some may help you lose weight -- in the short term. For National Nutrition Month 2007, the American Dietetic Association says the most effective long-term way to achieve a healthy lifestyle is to be 100 percent fad free. 

"Following a diet plan and losing weight in the short term is relatively easy," said Maj. Maureen Harback, Air Combat Command consultant dietitian. "If you eat less, you will lose weight. The question you need to ask yourself is whether you see yourself living like this for months and years. It is much more likely you will stick with small changes that will gradually add up to long term weight loss and better health." 

Keep in mind these National Nutrition Month key messages to enjoy a 100 percent fad-free lifestyle: 

- Develop an eating plan for lifelong health. Too often, people adopt the latest food fad rather than focusing on overall health. Get back to basics and use the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans (http://www.health.gov/DietaryGuidelines/) and My Pyramid (http://www.mypyramid.gov/) as your guide to healthy eating. 

- Choose foods sensibly by looking at the big picture. A single food or meal won't make or break a healthy diet. When consumed in moderation in appropriate portions, all foods can fit into a healthful diet. 

- Learn how to spot a food fad. Unreasonable or exaggerated claims that eating (or not eating) specific foods, nutrient supplements or combinations of foods may cure disease or offer quick weight loss are key features of fad diets. 

- Find your balance between food and physical activity. Regular physical activity is important for your overall health and fitness plus it helps control body weight, promotes a feeling of well-being and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. 

- Food and nutrition misinformation can have harmful effects on your health and well-being, as well as your wallet. Registered dietitians are uniquely qualified to communicate current and emerging science-based nutrition information and are an instrumental part of developing a diet plan that meets your individual needs. 

Through National Nutrition Month, created in 1973, the American Dietetic Association promotes healthy eating by providing practical nutrition guidance and focusing attention on making informed food choices and developing sound physical activity habits. 

National Nutrition Month also reminds consumers that nutrition professionals are their most valuable and credible source of timely, science-based information. The Air Force employs over 100 Registered Dietitians and 400 Diet Technicians that are located on nearly every Air Force base to assist members in making healthy choices. 

For more information, contact the Health and Wellness Center at 722-0407.
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