A friend of ours is a technical advisor in Hollywood for movies about the Second World War. In supplying uniforms and equipment for Saving Private Ryan, Flags of Our Fathers, The Pacific, and many others, he came face to face with one big difference between “The Greatest Generation” and us. The average WWII recruit was 5’8” tall and weighed 144 pounds.

For these recent movies, our friend routinely issued actors a pair of trousers two inches larger than their stated size, because the uniforms were designed for people who had just grown up during The Great Depression.

It was a clear reminder. Among all the blessings we tend to forget, most of us take getting enough to eat for granted. Unfortunately, together with this improvement came an unintended consequence. Obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol have become epidemic contributing factors to the most widespread causes of preventable death.

Celebrating Awareness – Making Conscious Choices

March 1 marks the beginning of National Nutrition Month, the yearly observance created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The Academy calls the month a celebration, and gives us this catchy urge to action: “Put your best fork forward.”

Among the perspectives provided by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is that we need a diet that fits our lifestyles. Seems a simple enough idea, but, in fact, one reason certain regions have higher rates of obesity than others may be that farming or physical labor once required far greater outlays of energy, and the traditions and expectations of meals and menus in these regions stayed on long after those lifestyles changed.

So, making food choices based on awareness more than tradition is an important step in the right direction for many of us.

So Many Ways to Do Better

There is certainly no shortage of practical suggestions for improving our choices, thanks to National Nutrition Month. No fewer than 17 tip sheets have been composed – in English and Spanish – to point the way.

Educators can count on the Academy and the USDA too for resources. The opportunity to influence nutrition for the better in schools is vast because children take in more than half the calories of their day while they are in school.

Families are encouraged to make family mealtimes a priority and to cultivate non-food rewards, for example, as part of building a healthier environment at home.

Securing a Resource You Can Count On

Why not schedule an appointment with us at Global Family Medicine to talk about a healthier approach to eating for yourself and your whole family? Some tips apply to most everybody, but the best recommendations come from awareness of what makes you and your body unique. A relationship with a family physician can give you an ally who could make all the difference in the results you see. Call us at 843-815-6468.