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Move more, eat less, says leading dietician
A Correspondent in New York
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March 17, 2009

"Move more, eat less; it makes perfect sense," says Rita (Shah) Batheja, dietician and nutritionist, who was the recent recipient of the 2009 Diabetes Care and Education Legislative Activity Award of the American Dietetic Association.

Use food as medicine, she added, and practice yoga and meditation on a daily basis to heal yourself, especially if you have diabetes.

People should "see their primary care provider on a yearly basis and get their blood test done, and also request to see specialist if results come abnormal," said Batheja, co-chair, contributor, editor and reviewer of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin's guidebook Indian Foods: AAPI's guide to Nutrition, Health and Diabetes.

If you have diabetes, it is "absolutely essential to see a registered dietician," she said, adding, "Our people are taking things for granted. It is the second generation that encourages their parents to see an RD specially if they have diabetes."

If one cannot get rid of diabetes, she continued, one can certainty control the blood sugar by measuring their carbohydrate intake and controlling the diet.

"Consumers are tired of taking a lot of medication and having their side effects. They must make the right choice by learning to eat right from an RD who is up-to-date and provides science-based information," she said. Most people do not know that their health plan covers RD services, she noted, pointing out that individualised plans were recommended.

"Genetic testing and functional nutrition testing is another way to identify clinical problems where one goes to the root of the problem and correct the situation, rather than putting a band-aid on the symptoms," she added.

Baldwin, New York-based Batheja has been involved in grassroot campaigns to promote the profession since 1996 and has lobbied New York state and national lawmakers for the past eight years in this regard. A graduate of M S University, Baroda, Gujarat, she did her masters in nutrition from Hunter College, New York. Founder of the Indian American Dietetic Association and Ethnic Networking Group, she has served on many Indian community organisations and been on the nutrition committees of the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association. She has also regularly appeared on television, including on CNBC TV's diversity show, radio talk shows and print media like the ADA's journal, Weight Watcher's Magazine.

First published in India Abroad

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