- 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 30, 2012
The new (ab)normal — Are bigger portions the norm?
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
The average restaurant meal today is more than four times larger than in the 1950s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which created a graphic to drive home the changes. Check it out at http://makinghealtheasier.org/newabnormal.
The graphic and the quiz that goes with it call attention to the massive increase in restaurant portion sizes since the 1950s — and the corresponding increase in average adult weight.
Here are some examples of how serving sizes have changed since the 1950s:
- Then: The average burger sandwich was 3.9 ounces. Now: A burger sandwich is 12 ounces. (I'm not even going to comment on the toppings and sauces.)
- Then: The size for fries was 2.4 ounces. Now: The size is 6.7 ounces.
- Then: Soda came in a 7-ounce cup. Now: The average soda is 42 ounces. (If this is a sugar-sweetened cola, calories have gone from about 90 to 530!)
According to the CDC, the average woman has increased her weight by 24.5 pounds and the average man has added 28 pounds since 1960. We know that obesity effects about 35 percent of adults and about 17 percent of children 2 to 19 years of age.
What I find amazing is that in spite of the backlash created by the 2004 documentary "Super Size Me," we continue to have a tug-of-war over portion sizes. Are restaurants responding to consumer demand for larger portions? Or have restaurants prompted the demand by offering more?
Many restaurants are offering smaller portions (in addition to larger ones). Consumers still have the power of the purse — and choice. What's happening? Given what's at stake — our health and the health of our children — shouldn't we figure this out?
What are your thoughts? Are you willing to accept the new (ab)normal as the norm? I hope not.
- Jenniferblog index
- The new (ab)normal. MakingHealthEasier.org. http://makinghealtheasier.org/newabnormal. Accessed May 25, 2012.
- Adult obesity facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html. Accessed May 25, 2012.
- Childhood obesity facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/childhood.html. Accessed May 25, 2012.