- 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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July 25, 2012
Do you have 'sitting disease'?
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
How many hours each day do you sit? At work? In the car? At meals? In front of the TV?
You might be surprised to learn that:
- 50 to 70 percent of people spend six or more hours sitting a day
- 20 to 35 percent spend four or more hours a day watching TV
These numbers come from a recent study looking at sedentary behavior. The study looked at the most recently available data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys — a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. This survey examines a nationally representative sample of about 5,000 people each year.
This study went on to reveal that Americans' sedentary lifestyle shortens their life expectancy. If Americans would cut their sitting time in half, their life expectancy would increase by roughly:
- 2 years (by reducing sitting to less than 3 hours a day)
- 1.4 years (by reducing TV time to less than 2 hours a day)
From previous studies we also know that a sedentary lifestyle is associated with increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers (breast and colon).
Physical activity seems to reduce risks by increasing insulin sensitivity, reducing body fat, inflammation and certain hormonal imbalances. So becoming more active also makes life — in general — healthier and easier.
Experts are beginning to agree that being more active simply means moving more during the day. So how can we fight "sitting disease"? Here are some thoughts:
- Stand more (set a timer and stand hourly)
- Change traditional video games into activity promoting ones — or buy an exercise video
- Walk while on the phone
- Get a pedometer and count your steps — increase from your baseline
- Take stairs up one floor or down two (consider more)
The solutions seem simple, but the effects may be profound. In addition to increasing your life expectancy, you may lose a few pounds and stress less. What are your suggestions for stamping out "sitting disease"?blog index
- About the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes/about_nhanes.htm. Accessed July 11, 2012.
- Katzmarzyk PT and Lee I. Sedentary behavior and life expectancy in the USA: A cause-deleted life table analysis. BMJ Open. http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/2/4/e000828. Accessed July 11, 2012.
- Friedenreich C. Can living a less sedentary life decrease breast cancer risk in women? Womens Health. 2012;8:5.