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Editor's Note: IBSS keynote gave food for thought
April 01, 2005
Anyone who caught the keynote address at the International Boston Seafood Show last month got a powerful message to use in marketing seafood. Seafood is a nutritious, lean protein that all Americans, especially kids, need to eat more often, said keynoter Dr. David Katz, head of the Prevention Research Center at the Yale School of Medicine and a nationally known nutrition expert. Any time a healthcare official acknowledges in a public forum that seafood is nutritious, seafood buyers and sellers need to take note.
Katz’s premise was that to ward off the pandemic of obesity in the United States, Americans must learn to eat right. He made several points during his address that should resonate with all Americans.
One was that “All diets work — but no diets work.” Fad diets like the low-carbohydrate, high-protein Atkins and South Beach are not effective, because Americans are still gaining weight. Dieters lose weight initially but gradually gain it back and wind up heavier than before they started dieting. They count carbs, points and miles on a pedometer, when they really should count how many times they hit the button on a vending machine.
Katz also delivered some alarming news about U.S. children, whose waistlines are growing as fast as their parents’. Type II diabetes, or adult-onset diabetes, used to appear as Americans got older. Studies show an alarming increase of Type II diabetes in young children, said Katz.
As a parent of twin toddlers, I know the temptation to let children eat what they want instead of listening to them complain about foods they don’t like, including seafood. Many nights I would like to plop them in front of the TV because I’m too tired to play. But letting children dictate what they eat and how long they sit in front of the tube have contributed greatly to the health problems Katz cited. Parents need to shut off the television, get creative in the kitchen and get their kids outdoors if they want them to live long, healthy lives.
The industry has heard time and time again how seafood plays an important role in a nutritionally balanced diet. Having that message reinforced by Dr. Katz is food for thought.