- 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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Feb. 5, 2010
Romantic relationships increase women's risk of being overweight
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
Marrying a man — or even living with one — increases a woman's risk of being overweight. What!?
We're all familiar with studies showing that marital status is associated with improved health and lower mortality. However, two recent studies suggest that having a male partner is associated with being overweight for women.
Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health followed the relationship status of about 7,000 young adults. Relationship status was self-reported as single, dating, cohabiting (living with a partner, but not married) or married. The study found that regardless of relationship status, both men and women were at risk of being overweight but the risk was higher overall for women. Cohabitating increased the odds of becoming obese for women by 63 percent, compared with only 30 percent for men. Marriage doubled the risk of obesity for both men and women — 107 percent for men and 127 percent for women.
Another study, the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, looked at weight gain in women. It found that over the 10-year study period:
- Single women gained about 11 pounds
- Women with partners gained about 15 pounds
- Women with partners and a baby gained about 20 pounds
Although having a baby had a greater effect on 10-year weight gain, the influence of living with a partner was also substantial.
These were observational studies — not sophisticated randomized controlled trials. Although they controlled for variables such as race and ethnicity, educational level and age, other things may have influenced the findings. Many lifestyle changes occur when young adults are dating and getting married that may influence weight gain, such as less physical activity, more sedentary behavior, more regular meals and even a decline in the desire to maintain weight for the purpose of attracting a mate.
But finding a partner and settling down don't have to lead to being overweight! Entering into a partnership offers unique opportunities to develop strategies for preventing weight gain: Gym dates. Healthy cooking classes for two. Splitting or sharing meals. Is this a new area for premarital counseling — to explore how couples can help each other eat better and exercise more?
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