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Physicians Urged to Implement Nutritional Guidelines

Simple dietary recommendations may help reduce patients' risk of heart disease and stroke

TUESDAY, Mar. 3 (HealthDay News) -- To reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, physicians should learn behavior change and motivational interviewing strategies aimed at changing eating habits in children and adults, according to a Scientific Statement published in the Mar. 3 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Samuel S. Gidding, M.D., chair of the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee of the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism, and colleagues summarized current strategies to implement American Heart Association nutrition recommendations with an emphasis on new approaches to implementing a healthful diet within the context of contemporary eating patterns.

The authors recommend that health care providers deliver simple, positive messages aimed at correcting major causes of poor nutrition, such as encouraging patients to eat breakfast, consume more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, limit consumption of sugar-containing beverages to less than 12 ounces per day, practice portion control, and regularly weigh themselves.

"More population-based research in the community at large and dietary patterns must be undertaken," the authors conclude. "The observed adverse trends in U.S. eating patterns must be reversed. Consumption of sugar-containing beverages and salty snacks must be reduced, along with a reduction in portion size and, most likely, eating frequency. Better strategies allowing consumers to make healthier choices outside the home must be established. The next era in nutrition research will be defined by the degree of success in this endeavor."

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Physician's Briefing
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