- 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 2, 2010
Obesity: Doctors slow to address the problem
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
Surprising findings about doctors' attitudes toward obesity were just released by the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Alliance for Obesity. A survey of primary care doctors revealed that:
- Almost 90 percent of doctors feel it's their responsibility to help patients lose weight.
- Yet 72 percent said that no one in their practice has been trained to deal with obesity and weight-related issues.
A separate survey of patients, including many who were obese (defined as body mass index of 30 or more), found that:
- Only 39 percent of obese adults were ever told by a doctor or other health care provider that they were obese.
- Of these 90 percent were told to lose weight, but one in three said they weren't given any guidance on how to do it.
Why the disconnect? The report suggests that the failure to address weight problems — so-called "clinical inertia" — may be caused by doctors' views on obesity (stigmatizing attitudes, belief that patient won't try), lack of confidence in their ability to treat obesity, lack of effective treatments and poor reimbursement for providing them.
What if "clinical inertia" existed for patients with diabetes or heart disease? (Obesity has been linked to these conditions.) Unthinkable, right?
The STOP Alliance for Obesity suggests several ways for doctors to start addressing the obesity epidemic:
- Monitor weight over time. Don't lecture but explain how weight gain and obesity relate to risk for other diseases.
- Assess motivation for change. Prescribe small lifestyle changes, such as eliminating sugary beverages. Suggest that these changes be a family affair.
- Define success differently. Set more realistic goals, such as a weight loss of 5 to 10 percent of body weight.
- Take a team approach. Enlist the help of others with expertise in weight loss — registered dietitians, exercise specialists, nurses and community programs.
Do you think these steps will be enough? Let's hear your suggestions.
- Jenniferblog index
- New surveys from the STOP Obesity Alliance show primary care doctors and patients see shared role in weight loss, but ask, now what? http://www.stopobesityalliance.org/newsroom/press-releases/. Accessed March 23, 2010.