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September 6, 2011 > How Do You Maintain a Healthy Weight? Good Nutrition Is Key!

How Do You Maintain a Healthy Weight? Good Nutrition Is Key!

Why would a physician who specializes in obstetrics/gynecology (OB/GYN) want to give a presentation at a seminar on weight management?

For Dr. Sudeepthi Prasad, an OB/GYN physician on the medical staff at Washington Hospital, the answer is pretty straightforward: "I am simply interested in women's health, and maintaining a healthy weight has a major effect on all aspects of a woman's health."

To help women - and men - learn about ways to maintain a healthy weight, Dr. Prasad will take part in a free Health & Wellness seminar sponsored by Washington Hospital on Tuesday, September 13 from 1 to 3 p.m. She will be joined by Anna Mazzei, a Washington Hospital clinical registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, who will outline nutritional guidelines and advice for healthy weight management. The seminar will be held in the Conrad E. Anderson, M.D. Auditorium at 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont.

"As an OB/GYN, I am in an ideal position to help change the way women think about nutrition and weight management," Dr. Prasad explains. "Women often see their OB/GYN physicians more frequently than other doctors, and we get to develop close and lasting relationships with our patients. So if I see a patient with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 30 or above, I automatically approach her about weight management as a health issue she needs to address."

While the seminar will discuss weight loss, it will focus more broadly on maintaining a healthy weight.

"Many women will manage to lose weight on a diet and then put it right back on," Dr. Prasad says. "We hope to help them understand how the body metabolizes calories and how to make healthier food choices that become part of their everyday lives instead of resorting to repeated crash diets."

Some of the topics she and Ms. Mazzei will discuss include:
* Choosing foods that are low in saturated fats, cholesterol, sugar and sodium (salt).
* Including lean proteins, whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.
* Making sure you start the day with a good breakfast to help keep you from snacking and overeating during the rest of the day.
* Paying attention to portion sizes to avoid being "super-sized" yourself.
* Learning about the health consequences of not maintaining your optimum weight.

"Being overweight or obese can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes - even infertility," Dr. Prasad notes. "For example, women who have polycystic ovarian syndrome, in which their hormones are out of balance, can experience problems with their periods and difficulty getting pregnant. Even a 5 to 10 percent weight loss can help improve ovulation for them.

"On the flip side, if a woman has a dramatic, unexplained weight loss or is dangerously thin, it might point to an eating disorder or another serious illness such as cancer," she adds. "Women with a low BMI also can fail to ovulate or be more prone to miscarriage."

Dr. Prasad points out an additional advantage to having women learn more about healthy weight management: "Women generally are the ones who make decisions about food purchases and preparation," she says. "So if they learn to make better choices, it can lead to better health for their families, too."

To register to attend the upcoming seminar on September 13, visit

Learn More from a Registered Dietitian

Washington Hospital's Outpatient Nutrition Counseling program is available by appointment to provide nutrition counseling for individuals with specific medical needs as well as those who wish to maintain optimal health. Using an approach that integrates education and tools to help change behaviors and meet individual health goals, our registered dietitians provide nutrition counseling for a full range of needs such as:
* Cardiovascular disorders (cholesterol, high blood pressure)
* Gastrointestinal problems (irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's Disease, colitis)
* Kidney Disorders
* Weight Management
* Allergies
* Pediatrics
* Good nutrition throughout life

Visit or call (510) 745-6542 for more information. (Please note that all nutritional counseling requires a physician referral.)

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