***image1***In dietary circles, it’s known as portion distortion – a habit of seeing how much food one can squeeze onto a plate. It’s also a major contributor to the fat epidemic that can plague American families.
During National Nutrition Month in March, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center’s Nutritional Care Division sponsors several programs to help regarding food selection.
“It’s nothing too drastic,” said U.S. Army Capt. Ronna Trent, a LRMC registered dietitian. “It’s hard enough to get people to eat fruit, so we definitely want to keep it simple and make recommendations that are easy to follow.”
The nutritional campaign focuses, among other things, on portion size and the importance of eating breakfast. With portion control, Captain Trent said she wants to educate people on what is appropriate as opposed to what is normally given.
“It’s normal for people to think large portions are what they’re supposed to have,” she said. “We live in a super-sized society. It’s a fast-food mentality.”
Contrary to popular belief, ordering a diet cola does not offset the large fries and burger.
Though many people have the notion that skipping breakfast will lead to weight loss, more times than not those people more than make up for breakfast by binge eating the rest of the day, said Captain Trent.
“People who maintain an ideal weight throughout their lives tend to be breakfast eaters,” she said. “When you skip breakfast, you are more likely to compensate by eating a huge lunch.”
According to the American Dietetic Association, binge eating isn’t the only problem breakfast skippers face. Often times they feel tired, restless and irritable. Eating breakfast, however, provides energy for better concentration throughout the day.
To help people who have questions regarding breakfast, portions and a host of other concerns, a nutritionist will be present from 11 to 1 p.m. each Friday during March at the LRMC Dining Facility.
A commissary tour will be offered at Baumholder from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday. The tour will help consumers select healthy choices and show them that healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive.
A booth will be set up at the Volgelweh Commissary Wednesday and Thursday, with an emphasis on label reading.
“It’s important for consumers to be able to recognize key nutrients, as well as ingredients to avoid,” said Captain Trent. “People can bring products they find at the commissary to us and ask questions they may have pertaining to ingredients.”
The LRMC Dining Facility will highlight menu items and market the nutrients and health benefits March 25, that come from eating those items. For instance, if fish is highlighted, its protein and Omega 3 fatty acids will be celebrated.
“The ultimate goal of the booths and tours is to help people eat smart to stay healthy for a lifetime,” she said.