- With Mayo Clinic nutritionists
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.read biographyclose window
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.Katherine Zeratsky and Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer K. Nelson, M.S., R.D., L.D., C.N.S.D.
Jennifer Nelson is your link to a better diet. As specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, she plays a vital role in bringing you healthy recipes and meal planning.
"Nutrition is one way people have direct control over the quality of their lives," she says. "I hope to translate the science of nutrition into ways that people can select and prepare great-tasting foods that help maintain health and treat disease."
A St. Paul, Minn., native, she has been with Mayo Clinic since 1978, and is director of clinical dietetics and an associate professor of nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
She leads clinical nutrition efforts for a staff of more than 60 clinical dietitians and nine dietetic technicians and oversees nutrition services, staffing, strategic and financial planning, and quality improvement. Nelson was co-editor of the "Mayo Clinic Diet" and the James Beard Foundation Award-winning "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook." She has been a contributing author to and reviewer of many other Mayo Clinic books, including "Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody," "The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book" and "The Mayo Clinic/Williams Sonoma Cookbook." She contributes to the strategic direction of the Food & Nutrition Center, which includes creating recipes and menus, reviewing nutrition content of various articles, and providing expert answers to nutrition questions.
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, she is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She's active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
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May 8, 2010
BMI may underestimate obesity in women
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
Attention young ladies — you're fatter than you think.
At least, that's the conclusion of a study recently published in the journal "Obstetrics and Gynecology." The study offers evidence that body mass index (BMI) — the standard for determining whether someone is obese — may not be accurate in women between 20 and 33 years of age. In fact, BMI failed to identify nearly half of the women in the study who were obese.
BMI is calculated by taking your weight in kilograms and dividing it by your height in meters squared. This method has been used to classify overweight and obesity for decades. BMI is also used to determine weight loss strategies, including whether weight loss surgery is indicated — and whether insurance will cover it.
How did researchers uncover the BMI problem? In addition to calculating BMI scores, they used body scans to determine body fat composition. Based on BMI, 37 percent of the women were considered obese. However, the body scans revealed that 63 percent of the women were actually obese. The study's authors suggest that additional research is needed to determine more accurate BMI cutoffs for women.
So what? This means we're fatter than we thought? It also means that the obesity epidemic — at least for young women — is more serious than we thought. Many young women with obesity are erroneously being deemed "normal weight" or "overweight" and therefore aren't getting appropriate health advice. And we know that obesity increases the risk of serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
What's your BMI? What does it mean to you?blog index
- Rahman M, Berenson AB. Accuracy of current body mass index obesity classification for white, black, and Hispanic reproductive-age women. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2010;115:982.