Be Healthy! Wednesdays: Bronx Expert Weighs in on Country’s Best Diets, Free Lead Screenings & More

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, Breaking Bronx features a health-related story, event or tidbit as part of an online expansion of our Be Healthy! column.

Einstein Expert Helps Rank Best Diets

A nutrition researcher from the Bronx’s own Albert Einstein College of Medicine lent her expertise to the U.S. News & Reports Best Diets of 2012, the consumer magazine’s annual ranking of the country’s most popular diets and weight loss plans, which was released this month.

This is the second year that Dr. Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani (above), an associate professor at Einstein who specializes in nutrition assessment, has served on the panel of experts for U.S. News. She reviewed 25 different diet methods selected by the magazine–popular programs, like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig–and rated them on seven criteria, like their ability to produce short-term and long-term weight loss.

U.S. News converted the ratings to scores and constructed the rankings, which are broken down into categories like “Best Diabetes Diet,” and “Easiest Diet to Follow.” You can check out the final findings on their website here. Best diet overall? The DASH diet, an eating plan developed by the US National Institutes of Health to lower blood pressure.

Dr. Mossavar-Rahmani says motivation is the key factor that separates those who keep off the weight from those who don’t. Someone who decides to diet for the sake of a healthier lifestyle, for example, is more likely to stick to it than someone who wants to drop 20 pounds for a wedding.

“The best motivation is an interest in promoting better health,” she said.  “Deciding to lose a set number of pounds with no long-term motivation plan often leads to weight creep once the target weight is reached.”

Dr. Mossavar-Rahmani is an associate professor of clinical epidemiology and population health at Einstein, who specializes in nutrition assessment and intervention. She teaches an elective course on nutrition and health for first-year medical students at Einstein and has been conducting research on nutrition for over two decades.

Free Community Lead Screenings

Affinity Health Plan, State Senator Jeff Klein and MedAlliance are hosting a series of lead poisoning screenings in the Bronx. Upcoming screenings will be held as follows:

  • January 19, from 3 to 7 p.m., the Affinity Mobile Unit/RV will be parked at 2816 Roebling Ave.
  • January 26, from 3 to 7 p.m., the Affinity Mobile Unit/RV will be parked at 788 Arnow Pl.

“Lead exposure, especially for children under five, poses a great hazard to their health, particularly developmentally, potentially causing brain damage or neurological problems,” says David Alejandro, manager of community relations & marketing at MedAlliance.

“We’re screening the residents and any of them that show potential exposure are asked to come into our center or go to their physician to have confirmatory testing done. If there are elevated levels of lead in their blood they’re being treated at no cost if they have no health insurance.”

Ask Be Healthly! Send Us Your Health Questions.

Got a pressing health, fitness, or nutrition question on your mind? Send them our way! We’re ready to tackle your queries about food, sex, illness, health insurance, prescription medications–any health-related topics that puzzle or interest you.

We’ll answer your question in a Q&A feature appearing in the Norwood News‘ Be Healthy! column. If we don’t know, we’ll ask the experts. You can sign your name or send it anonymously.

Send your queries to:

Here’s a link to the first installment of Ask Be Healthy!

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