Wellness Wednesday: American Heart Association New Guidelines
It’s been 15 years since the American Heart Association last issued their guidelines on weight management. The newest revision, released just last month, announced that losing weight is a battle best fought with the support of others, the advice of experts and a healthy well-balanced approach. Hilton Head Health pioneered these principles over 37 years ago. It’s about time the rest of the world started closing the gap.
We continue to push the envelope. We’ve introduced new culinary classes, home coaching programs and soon each guest will be equipped with the most advanced activity trackers to increase motivation and accountability. I’m proud to say H3 is still the leading innovator in creating healthy lifestyles.
The new guideline outlines the “gold standard” for a weight management program as one that offers an intensive on site program, behavioral coaching for diet, and exercise in a group or individual sessions with qualified health care providers. The focus should not only be on weight loss, but on the skills necessary for weight maintenance. Does that sound familiar? It should, Hilton Head Health has been offering this type of program for nearly 4 decades.
The American Heart Association continues to use Body Mass Index or BMI as the main screening tool. Treatment is recommended for those with a BMI of 30 or greater, or a BMI of 25+ with one additional comorbidity or risk factor. (The previous guideline required 2 comorbidities). Comorbidities include; diabetes, prediabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and a waist circumference greater than 40” for men and 35” for women. The guideline does not endorse one specific diet but recommends that both personal preference and health status should be taken into consideration when determining the nutritional approach. For me, one of the most significant and encouraging points made by the new guidelines is that “clinically meaningful health improvements can be seen even with a weight loss in the 2% – 5% range.” For a 200 lb. person that translates to an achievable 4 – 10 lb. loss.
For those who want to review the guideline in their entirety click here.