New Year, New Outlook, New Habits: Welcome 2015!

As seen in the Consultant Connection December 2014 Issue
Erin McClure, BSN, RN, WCC, Nurse Consultant, ICP, Inc.,  emcclure@icppharm.com
With 2014 coming to an end, and the holiday season in full force, its time to make 2015 a priority, and why not kick off the new year with a new outlook, instilling new habits.  With organizations promoting healthy lifestyles including; ChooseMyPlate.gov and Healthy People 2020, kicking off a healthy lifestyle is easier than it has ever been.  After all, who doesn’t like easy, and having evidence-based information available makes it a win-win situation for all whether you are a healthcare worker or consumer.
Let’s take a closer look at ChooseMyPlate.gov.  On June 2, 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama and the USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack released the federal government’s new food icon, MyPlate, which serves as a reminder to help consumers make healthier food choice.  It’s intent is to encourage use of the website to build healthy plates at meal times, providing educational materials to promote this habit. ChooseMyPlate.gov provides easy, useful information to individuals, healthcare professionals, nutrition educations and the food industry. The website is easy to navigate, offering a wide array of educational information for all. One of my favorite handouts is titled: Choose My Plate: 10 tips to a great plate. This colorful handout is found under the Healthy Eating Tips tab, found to the right of the top toolbar. The link to this document is:
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/downloads/TenTips/DGTipsheet1ChooseMyPlate.pdf 
Highlights include:
  1. Balance Calories
  2. Enjoy your food, but eat less ( I throw in something catchy in addition… “Savor Flavor!”)
  3. Avoid oversized portions
  4. Foods to eat more often
  5. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
  6. Switch to fat free or low fat (1%) milk
  7. Make half your grains whole grains
  8. Foods to eat less often
  9. Compare sodium in foods
  10. Drink water instead of sugary drinks

Under each heading, there are several tips which are extremely educational and aid in making healthy decisions.  Thumbs up to ChooseMyPlate.gov!
Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For the past 3 decades, Healthy People has established benchmarks and monitored progress over time in order to:
  • Encourage collaborations across communities and sectors.
  • Empower individuals toward making informed health decisions.
  • Measure the impact of prevention activities.
In December 2010, Healthy People 2020 launched its 10 year plan for national health improvement, utilizing input from a diverse group of organizations and individuals. 
The Ohio Department of Health monitors trends in the Healthy People objectives in its many prevention programs and collaborates with local health departments and other organizations to measure the prevention effort outcomes in Ohio. 
Let’s look at an objective titled: Nutrition and Weight Status.  The goal of this objective as outlined by Healthy People 2020 is to promote health and reduce chronic disease risk through the consumption of healthful diets and achievement and maintenance of healthy body weights. It also goes into an overview exploring why nutrition and weight status are important including the following areas in which we can reduce the risk; Heart Disease, Overweight and Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Dyslipidemia, etc…  It goes on to diets, looking at the social and physical demands, and gives several links to further learn helpful tips. One of the links of great value is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, found at: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/index.html.  This websitet is very user friendly, colorful, and has a lot of valuable information, and you can find yourself absorbed in a wealth of resources.   One of the topics is Nutrition, so if you click on that link, you will be directed to a list of topics, and one of great value to assist with your new outlook for 2015, is titled, “Nutrition for Everyone”.  On this page it explores nutrition basics, including a list of the basic food groups, which includes; vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and proteins.  It gives examples, and defines each.  It then goes into recommended daily intake and ends with food plans.  It is a great resource for all, and I encourage you to explore this area, along with all the other great information this site has to offer.
ChooseMyPlate.gov and Healthy People 2020 are two great starting points to help ring in 2015 healthy and happy.  Take advantage of the free resources around you to focus on being healthy, and creating new habits to reduce the risk of multiple co-morbid conditions, including diabetes, and heart disease.  Bring on 2015 and here’s to a happy, healthy, you.  Happy New Year.
Bibliography
(2014, November 15). Retrieved from ChooseMyPlate.gov: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/
Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. (2014, November). Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/index.html
Nutrition and Weight Management. (2014, November 15). Retrieved from Healthy People 2020: https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/nutrition-and-weight-status


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