- 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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April 4, 2013
Money talks when it comes to weight loss
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
We know money talks. Do you think it can talk you into choosing healthier portions, passing on dessert, and exercising more? Can money, gained or lost, be a motivator when it comes to weight loss?
A recent weight loss study at the Mayo Clinic asked employees to volunteer for such a test. The participants in the study were divided into groups — those who would have a financial incentive and those who would not. The groups started the first 10 weeks by spending several days a week meeting with a dietitian and an exercise specialist. Some groups also had a wellness (lifestyle) coach. Educational materials came from "The Mayo Clinic Diet" book and the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid.
Those in the financial incentive group had the opportunity to either receive or pay $20 a month if they met or failed to meet a weight loss goal of 4 pounds each month. Additionally, everyone was eligible for a lottery prize at the end, regardless of whether they met their weight loss goal or not. The study was 12 months, the longest of this type of study to date.
The idea of a including rewards is not new to the world of weight loss. However, a penalty, such as having to hand over $20, ups the stakes. Whether as a reward or a penalty, money appears to be a decent motivator as 62 percent of the participants in the incentive group completed the study. Fewer people (26 percent) completed the study in the group that wasn't given financial incentives. Average weight loss for the financially motivated was 9.1 pounds, while the other group lost an average of 2.6 pounds.
An average weight loss of 9 pounds after one year might not sound like much, but consider that most Americans gain weight every year. Sticking to lifestyle changes is a challenge and this group did it for a year.
So it appears that money may indeed be a motivator for some. What motivates you? Have you lost weight and kept it off? How do you hold yourself accountable?
To your health,