In March, Heart & Science joins with our Social Work and Nutrition colleagues to celebrate National Social Worker and National Nutrition Month. Thank you for your collaboration and contributions to the care of patients and their families and for your colleagueship!

Kate Sweeney, MS, RD

March is National Nutrition Month®, an education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This year’s theme, “Bite Into A Healthy Lifestyle,” celebrates the importance of healthy eating, regular exercise and a balanced lifestyle in preventing and treating chronic diseases like diabetes.

There are many barriers to a healthy lifestyle, particularly in Boston. This winter, the snow has impacted people’s exercise plans and has made it hard to get to the grocery store for healthy foods. The good news is that we can overcome these barriers by planning and making small changes.

Take Chris, for example. By working with a nutritionist at BWH, Chris lost 40 pounds in six months. And his triglyceride level went down by more than 100 points.

How did Chris achieve this? With the nutritionist’s help, he learned about food quality. Chris swapped out processed foods with added sugar like soda, chips and cereals for water, vegetables, plain oatmeal and lean protein, such as beans and fish. He found out that eating three meals a day, instead of skipping meals, can help with weight loss and energy. So, he started eating lunch and less at dinner.

As Chris made one change at a time, he noticed weight loss and improvement in energy levels. He expends this energy at the gym and can now run five miles when before he could only walk half-a-mile before getting out of breath.

The Department of Nutrition invites you to join Chris, and others, in making lifestyle changes during National Nutrition Month®. Maybe you start by increasing the amount of vegetables on your dinner plate or getting more fiber by trying steel cut oatmeal.

You can get motivated and start making changes by joining the nutrition scavenger hunt found here.

We hope you “Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle” this March!