January 14, 2009

Small Changes Can Lead To Big Rewards

Small changes can lead to big rewards, such as maintaining a healthy weight, American Society for Nutrition (ASN) President James O. Hill, PhD, describes in a recent report. The article, to be published in the February issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is written by Hill on behalf of a joint task force of ASN, the Institute of Food Technologists, and the International Food Information Council.

"By shifting our focus to small changes in diet and physical activity, we can prevent weight gain and potentially reduce the magnitude of the obesity problem. Large permanent changes in diet and activity are much harder to implement and sustain," said Hill. "Significant benefits to society are possible by promoting small, achievable changes."

What are some examples of small changes? Consider the following:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Walk an extra 2,000 steps a day
  • Reduce food portion size by 5%
  • Replace sweetened beverages with non-caloric beverages
  • Eat a nutritious breakfast

By instituting small changes in our daily lives, society can move in a positive health direction, according to the Task Force. "Obesity is a complex matter, but starting with one small step can lead to significant progress in achieving energy balance," stated Hill.

In 2006, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), American Society for Nutrition (ASN), and International Food Information Council (IFIC) formed a Joint Task Force on Food and Nutrition Science. The purpose of this initiative is to bridge the gaps between nutrition, food, and health by forming a unique partnership aimed at improving consumer health and addressing food and nutrition science opportunities and challenges. The goal of the task force is to advance the dialogue between the food science and nutrition communities to ultimately impact nutrition policies, public health, and research opportunities.

The American Society for Nutrition is the preeminent professional organization for nutrition research scientists and clinicians around the world. ASN is dedicated to bringing together the top nutrition researchers, medical practitioners, policy makers and industry leaders to advance our knowledge and application of nutrition. Founded in 1928, ASN publishes The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) and The Journal of Nutrition (JN).


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