- 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 20, 2011
Weight gain: Inevitable as you age?
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
Is weight gain with age inevitable? It can seem that way when your weight climbs despite dieting and even exercising. Indeed, a recent study suggests that a range of lifestyle choices — not just the number of calories in your diet — influence your weight as you age.
The study included more than 100,000 men and women who were in good health and not obese. Their weight, diet and lifestyle habits were tracked for up to 20 years. The pounds seemed to creep on, with an average weight gain of slightly less than 2 pounds every 4 years.
What surprised researchers was that specific foods were independently associated with more weight gain:
- Potato chips
- Unprocessed red meats
- Processed meats
On the other hand, eating more of some foods — vegetables, nuts, fruits and whole grains — was associated with less weight gain.
Liquid calories were another culprit. Alcoholic beverages and fruit juices were associated with a small but gradual increase in weight. Sugar-sweetened beverages were a major contributor to weight gain.
Lifestyle factors also influenced weight gain. Not surprisingly, physical activity was important to weight control. So was limiting TV time. Sleep also factored in. Weight gain was lowest among people who slept 6 to 8 hours a night and was higher among those who slept less than 6 hours or more than 8 hours.
Do any of these findings surprise you? Motivate you to change your habits? If so, how?
To your health,
- Mozaffarian D, et al. Changes in diet and lifestyle and long term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med. 2011;364:2392.