Food for Your Whole Life

This past weekend, I attended the Food for Your Whole Life Health Symposium in New York City with the likes of Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Michael Roizen, and cookbook author Mollie Katzen. The overarching theme focused on finding the right diet and lifestyle tools to help anyone achieve wellness throughout life. Overwhelmingly, the research described a path of eating a plant-based diet and regularly engaging in physical activity to slow the aging process.

At this time of year, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July allow us to pay tribute to the American spirit and memorialize the price many Americans paid to protect this country. In his presentation “America’s Wellness Tipping Point,” Dr. Oz made a point that struck a chord with me. He said, “Do you want to be patriotic? Lose some belly fat.” What he means is this: the leading cause of death in America is chronic disease – heart disease (#1), cancer (#2), stroke (#3), and diabetes (#6).1 These deaths accounted for 1,401,092 of the 2,426,264 deaths in 2006, or nearly 58% of all deaths. Driving these illnesses is obesity; in the United States, 67% or 2/3 of the U.S. population is overweight or obese, a risk factor for these chronic illnesses.2

Since nearly 58% of deaths in the U.S. are from obesity-related chronic illness, protecting the American population may be easier than we think. Simply losing 5–10% of body weight may dramatically decrease risk for chronic illness! Feeling patriotic? Try increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. Eating nutrient-dense plant foods in place of refined, processed, or convenience foods increases nutrient consumption and may decrease calories, leading to eventual weight loss. Start with USA Pears! Pears are a nutrient-dense treat within 100 calories and they taste delicious!

1National Center for Health Statistics, 2006
2National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2006

About Amy Kweller MS, RD

As a Registered Dietitian, I have a professional relationship with pears. But as someone who loves great food, I also have a personal relationship with pears! So there is no better way to spend my time than blogging about this lovely fruit. I will blog about pears from farm to table; healthy living, cooking, and recipes; the therapeutic benefits of pears and a wholesome diet; and how pears can fit into your lifestyle. I have a background in clinical and community nutrition, and teaching others how to lead healthy, fulfilling lives is my goal and passion – so send me your questions. My hope is that everyone who visits this site will find something that lingers long after the browser closes, and I expect that will be a deeper love of pears!

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