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Miami offers weight management program

It is week 12 of the 16-week Healthy Weight Management Program at Miami, and the mostly middle-aged participants are enthusiastic about their progress in changing their lifestyles.

• A local businessman says he now realizes he has to simplify his life after analyzing the way he eats and how he eats. He's learned tips on how to succeed at what he always knew he had to do - exercise more and eat better.

• A Miami office employee says she used to just collapse on the couch after work. She was reluctant to sign up because she didn't know anyone else taking the course, but she went ahead and she's glad. She's walking regularly now and she's lost weight. Maybe even more importantly she's handling stress better. “I'm glad I did it,” she says.

• An Oxford medical professional who was suffering from sciatic nerve pain says the exercise program has made her pain go away. “I look forward to the workouts. It's become a habit,” she says. Other pluses are more energy and better balance. She enrolled in the course because of an interest in the exercise component, but keeping a food diary has given her a wake-up call about her eat-on-the-run, all-hot-dog, no-fruit-and-vegetable diet.

With only five more weeks to go, participants are seeing the results of what Jeffrey Potteiger (physical education, health and sport studies) describes as the most comprehensive such program in the area - maybe the state.

The components of the program, offered for the first time this fall, include:

• Lifestyle modification

• Nutritional education and one-on-one nutritional counseling

• Individual exercise programs and a personal trainer

• Medical monitoring

The multifaceted program allows Miami to meet the health-care needs of the community while providing education and research opportunities for students, faculty and staff, says Potteiger.

An estimated 65 percent of the U.S. adult population is either overweight or obese and Americans spend an estimated $8 billion annually on controlling their weight, but few diets or programs succeed over the long run.

That's because most focus on immediate weight loss rather than lifestyle change, says Potteiger. The emphasis is either diet or exercise, and behavioral connections and the interaction between diet and exercise are often ignored.

“You have to understand who you are and what drives you,” he says. “You cannot eliminate all the things you like in your diet - all sweets, all treats - because they help us get by. Yet at the same time, you cannot just eat poorly and not experience repercussions. The bottom line is you have to develop a healthy lifestyle. At the same time, it is important to develop an exercise program that meets your interests and can be performed according to your schedule.”

The program will be offered again spring semester starting Jan. 18. Cost is $725 (20 percent discount for Miami employees, spouses and/or partners). Cost includes fitness testing, personal training, nutritional analysis, food for lab meal preparations, heart rate monitors and step counters.

An information session for the spring semester program will be at 5:15 p.m. Monday, Nov. 22, in 127 Phillips Hall. Additional information sessions will be scheduled in December.


For more information, call 9-2700 and ask for the Healthy Weight Management Program or click on its link att www.muohio.edu/phs/.

Date Published: 11/11/2004
Volume: 24   Number: 15

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