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Your Parents Were Right . . .

You are what you eat, and Morgan Spurlock proved it.

Spurlock is the documentary filmmaker and creative force behind the 2004 juggernaut Super Size Me who abused his healthy body with a three-meal-a-day dose of McDonald’s every day for a month. At the beginning of the experiment, he was a vibrant and fit man with good vital signs and healthy blood chemistry. In just a few weeks on the Super Size treadmill, his body became a miserable vessel; indeed, lab tests indicated that his liver was literally turning into fat. He reported feeling depressed, headachey, short of breath and lethargic, and there were other alarming symptoms. His physicians and dietitians were concerned enough by the downward spiral of his blood work and the upward spikes in his weight and blood pressure to urge him to cease and desist (but he saw the experiment through and lived to tell the tale). His final lab reports showed he was on the fast track to coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes and hypertension—after just a month!

Can you imagine the damage people do to their bodies when they eat this carelessly for a lifetime? The notion of it borders on obscene. Perhaps some people truly don’t know any better; and, hopefully, that’s where you come in. These folks desperately need the benefit of the knowledge you’ve amassed in your ongoing study of health, fitness and the human body. When clients come to you with questions, you’ll know your scope-of-practice borders and you’ll have a ready list of referrals to qualified nutritionists and registered dietitians after you’ve given all you can.

One way to get started is by leveraging the fact that March is National Nutrition Month®. Use this opportunity to instill in your clients and facility members an extra dose of mindfulness about what they’re putting into their bodies, and that you are what you eat. Invite a local dietitian to your facility or studio to tackle a specific topic or to field questions about what a healthy diet means today. End personal training sessions by giving clients an article regarding “healthy eating on the run” or “wholesome snacks for kids.” Start your group exercise classes with a quick quiz on balancing energy input with energy expenditure. These simple ideas can have a profound impact on many lives. For more ideas and information on National Nutrition Month March 2006, go to the American Dietetic Association website at www.eatright.org.

You can also feed your own intellect on this topic by reading the three fascinating CEC features in this issue: “Weighing the Benefits of Bariatric Surgery,” “Does Your Diet Fit Your Genes?” and “Understanding the Role of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids.” Earn credits from the American Council on Exercise, the National Academy of Sports Medicine or the National Strength and Conditioning Association while you learn more about these timely niches in nutrition science.

Speaking of earning CECs, did you know you can earn up to 17 credits at our upcoming IDEA Fitness Fusion—Chicago® event (April 20–23)? Fusion offers more than 120 sessions, so you can renew your certifications, stay up-to-date on your fitness education and make great contacts and new friends in a single weekend. If you would like to peruse the unique programming or if you have questions on how to register for this event, please visit www.ideafit.com or call IDEA member services at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7.

In the meantime, we applaud your dedication to inspiring the world to fitness in supersized heaps.

Yours in good health,

Kathie and Peter Davis

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