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By Michelle Maxwell, MS, LD, RD
March is National Nutrition Month, so as a dietitian this is definitely one of my favorite times of year. The theme for this year is “Bite into a healthy lifestyle.” My goal is to get you to think about food a little differently and realize that it is just one piece to a healthy lifestyle. This is not a weight loss article; I will not give you the “top ten super foods” or “how to lose 50 lbs. in 10 days.” Future articles will share more specific information on what foods are good for you and how they affect your health, but this article is more of an introductory article to get you to think about why a healthy lifestyle is important and how you can get started.
When it comes to health disparities in this country, African Americans tend to be affected worse then other groups. Heart disease is the leading cause of death amongst African Americans. We are also more likely to have high blood pressure and diabetes, and for conditions that we are not even most likely to get (breast cancer, osteoporosis, etc.), we have higher mortality rates once we do get them. More than 3 out of 4 African Americans are overweight or obese, and African American women have the highest rates of any group. All of these conditions can be prevented or treated with a healthy lifestyle.
Michelle Maxwell received her B.S. in dietetics and M.S. in Nutrition and Food Science from The Florida State University. Originally on a pre-med track, she switched into this field after realizing how big of a role nutrition played in health, especially in preventing disease. Michelle’s heart is in public health because she knows how much of an impact education has on health outcomes, and this is why her current passion lies in improving health outcomes in the African American community, especially among our women and children. Ms. Maxwell’s goal is to teach everyone how to make small changes that can lead to big results.
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