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Valley Life | *foot notes

March 02, 2001|JAMES E. FOWLER

March is National Nutrition Month. Sponsored each year by the American Dietetic Assn., National Nutrition Month focuses attention on the importance of good food choices. The theme of this year's campaign is "Food & Fitness: Build a Healthy Lifestyle."

* Obesity is at epidemic proportions in the United States, afflicting 50% of adult Americans and nearly 5 million American children. These people are at high risk for heart disease and high cholesterol, blood pressure and insulin levels, owing in most cases to their diet. The ADA advises following the ABCs: Aim for fitness, Build a healthy base and Choose sensibly.

* ADA officially kicks off National Nutrition Month 2001 today in Orlando, Fla., where leading nutrition experts are meeting at the Disney Institute to report the latest scientific theories in such areas as low-fat diets versus high-unsaturated-fat diets; moderate-fat weight loss diets that promote higher intake of vegetables and fiber lacking in many Americans' diets; medical implications of childhood obesity; and how to snack and not gain weight. Check out the ADA's Web site at http://www.eatright.org.

* The ADA also offers tips for healthy eating, including: 1) eat a variety of foods, 2) eat plenty of grains, fruits and vegetables, 3) eat moderate portions, 4) eat regular meals, 5) reduce but don't eliminate certain foods and 6) make diet changes gradually.

* The Center for Science in the Public Interest just released its new Eating Smart Restaurant Guide last month. It revealed such surprising items as the typical restaurant turkey club sandwich has about 60% more calories than a typical roast beef sandwich with mustard, plus three times as much fat. And an order of cheese fries with ranch dressing has about 3,000 calories plus four days' worth of artery-clogging fat. CSPI is the nonprofit health advocacy group famous for testing and publicizing the calories and fat in everything from movie-theater popcorn to fettuccine Alfredo. Check out the CSPI Web site at http://www.cspinet.org.

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