Bite into a healthy lifestyle this month

CHICAGO — There is no one food, drink, pill or machine that is the key to achieving optimal health. A person’s overall daily routine is what is most important. That is why, as part of National Nutrition Month 2015, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics urges everyone to 'Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle.'

Each March, the academy encourages Americans to return to the basics of healthful eating through National Nutrition Month. This year’s theme encourages consumers to adopt a healthy lifestyle that is focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.

'A healthy lifestyle – one based on regular physical activity and an eating pattern chosen to meet individual nutrient needs within calorie limits – is vital to maintaining good health and quality of life,' said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy President Sonja Connor. 'This year's 'Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle' theme gives consumers an easy reminder that achieving optimal health is not about a specific food or time or year, but rather a lifelong commitment that leaves plenty of time for the foods and activities we love.'

The Academy strives to communicate healthful eating messages that emphasize balancing food and beverages within an individual's energy needs, rather than focusing on any one specific food or meal. To this end, it is the Academy's position that improving overall health requires a lifelong commitment to healthful lifestyle behaviors, emphasizing sustainable and enjoyable eating practices and daily physical activity.

'The key is determining the lifestyle balance that provides the body what it needs, while still allowing room for the foods and activities we enjoy most,' Connor said. 'This is where the expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists plays such a key role. RDNs work with consumers to find balance and create sustainable eating and physical activity plans that fit their tastes and routines.'

Initiated in 1973 as a weeklong event, 'National Nutrition Week' became a monthlong observance in 1980 in response to growing public interest in nutrition.

As part of this public education campaign, the Academy's National Nutrition Month website includes a variety of helpful tips, games, promotional tools and educational resources, all designed to spread the message of good nutrition based on the 'Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle' theme.