First Line of Defense

Weight, nutrition and exercise

Losing extra pounds, eating better and becoming more active are some of the most important steps you can take. There are people who aren’t overweight who have type 2 diabetes, but added pounds do put you at risk. In one study, being overweight or obese was the single most important thing that predicted who would get diabetes. The study results showed that over 16 years, regular exercise – at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week – and a low-fat, high-fiber diet helped prevent diabetes. So, let’s get started …

Eating healthier

Healthy weight loss isn’t just about a “diet” or “program.” It’s about an ongoing lifestyle that includes long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits. Eating healthy food is important, but you also need to pay attention to how much food you eat. Try these small changes that can make a big difference for your entire family.

  • Start the day with a healthy breakfast.
  • Eat small, healthy snacks during the day. This will keep you from overeating at mealtimes.
  • Read the label to find out how many servings are in a package. There may be more than one!
  • Put a serving of food in a bowl instead of eating out of the package or container.
  • Serve food on plates and leave the main dish on the stove. You will be less tempted to go back for seconds.
  • If you are eating out, only eat half of your meal. Take the other half home.
  • Eat slowly – this will give you time to feel when you are full.
  • Don’t eat in front of the TV. It’s harder to keep track of how much you are eating.

If you are obese and need extra help with weight loss, you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery.

Get active as a family!

Studies show that kids with an elevated BMI, even as young as age 5, are prone to become teens who are overweight or obese. Therefore, they remain overweight or obese as adults, and are at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems. Empower children to develop active, healthy lifestyles by focusing on the eating and exercise behavior of the entire family.

Here are a few tips to get moving:

Let’s Get Started

Before starting any exercise routine, you may want to check with your healthcare provider. Watch the video below for tips to get started on your journey to better health.


New Impact

If you have concerns about your child’s health, get the resources you need. See how our comprehensive and unique weight management program for children up to age 21 can help your entire family be healthier.

crate of fresh produce vegetables and fruit like apples, onions, bananas, peppers, asparagus, lettuce, grapes, cabbage, mushrooms, cantaloupe, corn carrots nutrition healthy eating

Eat a healthy diet

Eating healthy means getting enough vitamins, minerals and other nutrients—and limiting unhealthy foods and drinks. Eating healthy also means getting the number of calories that’s right for you (not eating too much or too little).

What does a healthy plate look like?

  • Colorful! Try for at least 3 different colors in every meal you eat, the more colors the better
  • Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, brussel sprouts, etc.)
  • Split the other half between starches (rice, potatoes, pasta, bread, etc.) and lean proteins (chicken, turkey, fish)
  • Fresh fruit makes a great dessert

It’s important to limit …

  • Sodium (salt)
  • Added sugars like refined (regular) sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup and honey
  • Saturated fats, which come from animal products like cheese, fatty meats, whole milk and butter, and plant products like palm and coconut oils
  • Trans fats, which may be in foods including stick margarines, coffee creamers and some desserts
  • Refined grains, which are in foods like cookies, white bread and some snack foods