Reduce obesity one step at a time

Jan. 15, 2009 at 3:45 PM
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DENVER, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Individuals and society as whole can achieve significant health benefits by promoting small behavior changes, U.S. nutritionists said.

An article published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on behalf of a joint task force of the American Society for Nutrition, the Institute of Food Technologists and the International Food Information Council suggests society can move in a positive health direction by instituting small changes into daily lives.

"Obesity is a complex matter, but starting with one small step can lead to significant progress in achieving energy balance," article author James Hill of the University of Colorado in Denver and director of the American Society for Nutrition said in a statement.

"By shifting our focus to small changes in diet and physical activity, we can prevent weight gain and potentially reduce the magnitude of the obesity problem."

Included among the small changes from which individuals could reap large rewards for society as well as themselves recommended by the task force were:

-- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

-- Walking an extra 2,000 steps a day.

-- Reducing food portion size by 5 percent.

-- Replacing sweetened beverages with non-caloric beverages.

-- Eating a nutritious breakfast.

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