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Sharon Hershberger, Director, Public Affairs
Healthy Holiday Eating Important to Good Health Year Round
London, Ky. (December 14, 2015)— Studies show that the average American gains one to two pounds over the holidays. While it may not sound like much, those pounds can add up over time.
Being overweight can lead to increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and respiratory problems. Researchers have even found a litany of negative consequences for survivors of certain cancers who carry extra weight, such as worse survival rates, increased risk of cancer recurrence and more side effects. In 1980, only about one in seven American adults were obese. Today, one in three are obese.
“While it’s easy to lose sight of health goals this time of year, it’s important to remember that maintaining a healthy weight year round is necessary for overall health,” said Dustin Powell, Clinical Dietitian with Sodexo and KentuckyOne Health. “While people may shrug off an extra pound or two gained during the holidays, over time, those pounds add up and lead to a less healthy individual. We encourage folks to talk to their doctor about a healthy weight that’s right for them.”
Rebecca Shepherd-Smith, a registered and licensed dietitian with KentuckyOne Health, also noted how emotionally difficult it can be to avoid the many goodies and rich foods available during this time of year.
“Food, especially around the holidays, stirs up all kinds of feelings and memories we have associated with it. People end up eating unhealthy foods this time of year because they are connected with an event or a person,” said Shepherd-Smith. “The temptations can seem endless, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take control and still continue those traditions, but in a healthier way.”
Shepherd-Smith, who is also a chef, is featured in a series of videos created by KentuckyOne Health designed to provide a healthier alternative to traditional holiday dishes.
Visit kentuckyonehealth.org/healthyholidays to view the short cooking segments featuring tips for healthy eating and delicious holiday favorites including holiday turkey, mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, stuffing and pumpkin tartlets.
About KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health, the largest and most comprehensive health system in the Commonwealth, has more than 200 locations including, hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies in Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is dedicated to bringing wellness, healing and hope to all, including the underserved. The system is made up of the former Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System, along with the University of Louisville Hospital and James Graham Brown Cancer Center. KentuckyOne Health is proud of and strengthened by its Catholic, Jewish and academic heritages.