Take care of mom: statistics point out how many deaths and chronic illnesses are from personal choices like smoking or being sedentary, and are lifestyle driven.

Taking Care of Mom

Mom Family

Mother’s Day is this coming Sunday. It is a wonderful time to celebrate all moms and the many terrific things that they do for their families. Hopefully in the process of taking care of everyone else, they will also take a bit of time for their own personal health care. It is hard to do when the to-do list is a mile long at both home and work. It is good to be reminded at this time of year about some health stats, as well as and health and disease issues with women.

These are the current death statistics for women, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • 22 percent of deaths are from heart disease
  • 21 percent of deaths are from all forms of cancer
  • 6 percent of deaths are from chronic lower respiratory disease
  • 6 percent of deaths are from strokes

These are other health statistics for women according to the CDC:

  • 36 percent of women 20 years and older are obese
  • 15 percent of women 18 years and older still smoke
  • 33 percent of women 20 years and older have high blood pressure and/or are taking blood pressure medication

These statistics point out how many deaths and chronic illnesses are from personal choices like smoking or being sedentary, and are lifestyle driven. The major causes of death(heart disease and cancer) can be related to:

  • Food choices
    • high animal fat intake
    • frequent fast food intake
    • processed and preserved foodslow fiber without many fruits and vegetables
    • sweet drinks like sodas
  • Smoking
  • Inactivity

Healthy reminders for mom:

  • Enjoy a daily walk or outdoor play with the kids
  • Prep a few more meals from scratch. The crock pot sure helps out for soups, stews and spaghetti sauce that can simmer all day. And my favorite is to cook once for two meals. For example, pork tenderloin today is delicious shredded for tomorrow’s pork BBQ dinner.
  • Drink water, water, water
  • Grab seasonal fruit for daytime snacking

Recipes to try:

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About the Author

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.