NIDDK Director's Update Spring 2019

Health Information Updates

Holiday radio interviews encourage starting a new healthy routine today

It's never too soon or too late to achieve a healthy weight, advised NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers during a holiday season radio media tour that reached 1,031 radio outlets and about 1.3 million listeners. (Listen to an interview.) He also provided practical tips for healthy eating and physical activity.

The radio interviews primarily reached parts of the United States with the highest rates of obesity, high blood pressure, and stroke, as well as high levels of inactivity. Obesity is prevalent in 40 percent of U.S. adults, and having obesity puts people at risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and other conditions.

For many, the new year brings healthy eating and physical activity resolutions. However, weight management requires ongoing action, including regular physical activity, healthier eating, getting enough sleep, and managing stress.

To help radio listeners achieve their weight management goals, Rodgers shared tips.

  • Schedule time for regular physical activity with a friend or family member to help you both stick to a routine.
  • Watch the treats and how much alcohol you consume. If you can’t say no to sweet foods, try eating a smaller portion.
  • Bring a healthier option to a potluck. You’ll be able to track how many calories you consume and introduce people to a healthy dish.
  • Reduce screen time and the time spent sitting. More than two hours of TV a day has been linked to obesity. Turn off digital devices and take a walk or have a dance contest with friends and family.
  • Be prepared for setbacks. Sticking with a healthy eating and physical activity plan is hard, but if you plan for setbacks, it might help you get back on track.

Parents and caregivers can also help their children build and follow healthy habits that may reduce risks related to obesity and chronic health problems, such as diabetes.

“Achieving healthy habits can truly be a family affair – leading to better long-term health for yourself, your partner, your children, your parents, and others,” Rodgers said. “It’s not always easy to stay active and manage weight, but research shows that consistent efforts to stay healthy will pay off for many years down the road.”

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