Weight and Fertility
We Can Help You Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight
Medical Nutrition Therapy is an integral part of the services provided to every patient at the Delaware Valley Institute of Fertility &Genetics (DVIF&G). Research has shown that obese women are two times more likely to be infertile than women of healthy weight. DVIF&G’s Medical Nutrition Therapy unit provides our patients with medical nutrition counseling to help them lose the weight they need to conceive and deliver healthy babies.
Besides offering individualized counseling, the service provides educational literature on nutrition, personalized meal planning, exercise tips that really work, easy low-fat cooking tips, and referrals for support groups and other services.
We can help you lose the weight and keep it off. Feel free to browse this section. It is filled with lots of information to help you better understand the role of nutrition in both conceiving and delivering a healthy baby. To make an appointment with DVIF&G’s team of specialists, please call (856) 988-0072.
The Battle of the Bulge Starts Young
Having difficulty losing weight? You’re not alone. About 25 percent of American adults are overweight , and the percentage of overweight children has doubled among 6 to 11-year-olds and tripled for those ages 12 to 19, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Nationwide, an estimated 15 percent of youths ages 6 to 19 are obese, according to survey findings.
Citing this increasing girth as a “national health crisis,” Congress asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2004 to examine the foods marketed directly to children to determine a link between early adoption of poor eating choices and its impact on adult weight. In response, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published its study “Food Marketing to Children and Youth” which found that the market for children’s food products is in excess of $30 billion. The food companies also spend another estimated $10 billion marketing these products to our nation’s youth.
While children are watching their favorite kiddie shows, they’re inundated with food messages since the lion’s share of these television advertisements are for food products. More than 600 new products have been introduced, with half of them in the candy/chewing gum category, a quarter in the salty snacks/sweets category, and the rest in the baby food, bottled water, and bread products categories.
These food marketers use scientific methods in a comprehensive and unabashed effort to exploit the suggestibility of young children. “Kid archetypes” and “the psyche of mothers as family gatekeepers” are employed to elucidate the psychological base of children’s food choices. Justifying this approach as their right to free speech and good for business, these food marketers use sophisticated advertising techniques to convince children that they, not their parents, know what to eat. These media messages help them to recognize brands and induce them to pester their parents to buy them so they can eat foods “just for them.” According to the study by 2 years of age, most children can recognize products in supermarkets and ask for them by name.
You too have been exposed to these kinds of strategies for a long time now. From McDonald’s catchy “Big Mac Song” to Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef” commercials, you’ve grown up with these clever ploys to visit fast food establishments that stress convenience and high fat content over health benefits to the consumer. Be aware of these tactics and remain conscious of them to be successful in changing your lifestyle to achieve a healthy weight.
We also need to improve nutrition education at the elementary school level. Instilling healthy lifestyle habits should start very early in life. Unfortunately, most consumer education in that area comes from the media. To counteract that influence, parents should be diligent in helping their children learn how to eat healthy and to exercise regularly. This can be achieved by eating together often at the dinner table, engaging in physicial activities together, and asking children for assistance in the kitchen and at the supermarket . Preparing healthy meals may take time and thought, but it can be done. Remember, parents are the greatest role models for their children, and the values instilled in them will last a lifetime.
Karla Boyce, RD, LDN, CDE
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a ratio between weight and height. A better predictor of disease risk than body weight-for-height ratio, BMI is often used to assess adults’ health. Higher BMI numbers are linked with higher blood fats and blood pressure and greater risk of developing certain diseases, including infertility, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain cancers. Lower BMI numbers (less than 18.5) also are linked to a greater risk for health problems. (To calculate your BMI. )
How does your BMI rank? Here’s the lowdown from the National Institutes of Health:
- You’re considered underweight if your BMI is less than 18.5. You should see your physician and registered dietitian to assess your BMI and general health.
- You’re in the healthy range if your BMI falls between 18.5 and 24.9. You don’t need to lose weight, but you should try to stay within this range.
- You’re considered overweight if your BMI is between 25 and 29.9. You should consult with your doctor and registered dietitian to see if your disease history or lifestyle coupled with your weight could raise your disease risk. If so, you will probably have to lose weight.
- You’re considered obese if your BMI is 30 or higher. To improve your health, see your doctor and registered dietitian about developing a life-long weight management plan.
- A high BMI does not necessarily mean you have added health risks. Since muscle weighs more than fat, many physically fit people including the world’s top athletes, have high BMIs.
The width of your waist also can increase your risk for weight-related diseases. For example, men with a BMI of 25 or greater whose waist measures 40 inches or more have higher risks. For women with a BMI of 25 or more, a waist circumference of 35 or more is associated with higher risks.