Semper Fit teaching healthy habits

12 Mar 2004 | Cpl. Craig A. Sherman

In 2003, a survey conducted by the National Dietetic Association showed that more than 65 percent of all adults in America are overweight or obese.

This American epidemic is the result of poor nutrition, sedentary lifestyle and large serving sizes when Americans eat, according to Crystal Dilliard, registered nurse and certified nutritionist for Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

“When a person is overweight, they will increase their chances of having heart disease, type II diabetes, certain forms of cancer, arthritis, sleep apnea and high blood pressure,” Dillard said.

Recently, weight gain has been a growing problem for American children, according to Dilliard. Many types of diabetes that were only found in adults are now being discovered in children.

Each year, the National Dietetic Association develops a nutrition and education campaign to fight weight problems in children and adults.

“The theme for this year’s program is ‘Eat Smart, Stay Healthy,’” Dilliard said. “Exercise is a way to stay healthy and fit throughout your life.”

There are many reasons why people want to lose extra weight, according to Dilliard.  However, people must make the decision to change their lifestyles first.

“Many people are being hooked into fad diets, like the South Beach Diet, Akins, etc.,” Dilliard said. “But, these diets are just gimmicks and fads that don’t work out in the long run.

Some diets put your body at serious health risk and some don’t give you the knowledge you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep you from gaining the weight back.”

Several doctors recommend that people who want to lose weight in a healthy manner should not try to lose it all at once. They should only attempt to lose between a half to two pounds per week.

“Gradual weight loss is a healthy and consistent way to lose extra pounds and keep them off for good,” Dilliard said. “When you lose a lot of weight quickly, you are losing most of the water weight in the body, which is not healthy.”

Semper Fit has several information booklets to help service members and their families start shedding pounds in a healthy and effective way.

“We have a lot of information that can provide people with the needed steps to develop their own weight loss program,” Dilliard said. “Our staff is well trained and works with anyone as personal trainers to help them meet their goals.”

A consistent exercise program and healthy eating will help to develop a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their families, according to Dilliard.

“Eating smart and staying healthy is the responsibility of every service member,” Dilliard said. “Semper Fit is here to help and make that lifestyle more enjoyable for everyone in the Marine Corps.”