Naval Hospital Jacksonville Hopes To Reverse Alarming Obesity Trend (Part 2 of 3)

By Tami Begasse, Naval Hospital  Jacksonville Public Affairs

(Part one of three ran on Jan. 3. It addressed the fact that Obesity has surpassed smoking as the primary cause of premature death.)

Healthy Eating.  A healthy eating plan provides the body needed nutrients. The best rule of thumb: the plan should include enough calories for good health, but not enough to gain weight.  Tips include:

  • Emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.
  • Include lean meats, poultry, fish, bean, eggs, and nuts.
  • Reduce saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
  • Cut back on calories.
    • In general, having 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day will help most women lose weight safely.
    • In general, having 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day will help most men lose weight safely. This calorie range also is suitable for women who weigh 165 pounds or more or who exercise routinely.
    • To lose one to two pounds a week, adults should cut back their calorie intake by 500 to 1,000 calories a day.
    • For overweight children or teens, it’s important to slow the rate of weight gain. However, reduced-calorie diets aren’t advised unless you talk with a health care provider.

Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s Nutrition Clinic (located in the hospital’s Central Tower, first floor, room 1102, 904-542-9786) can help with individual consultations and group classes for weight management, prenatal nutrition, cardiovascular issues and diabetes education. Diabetics can also turn to Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s Diabetes Center — one of the top four in Navy Medicine. The center (located in the hospital East Annex, first floor, room 1509, 904-542-9178) provides classes, individual education, case management as well as diabetes supplies. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s “Aim for a Healthy Weight” patient booklet ( also provides more information about following a healthy eating plan.

Physical Activity. Some activity is better than none. The four main types of physical activity are aerobic, muscle-strengthening, bone strengthening and stretching. The majority of physical activity should be moderate to vigorous in intensity, and adults should try to include muscle-strengthening activities as well. The goal is to be physically active every day for one extended period of time, or break it up into shorter sessions of 20, 15 or even 10 minutes. For example, try walking, biking, tennis or an aerobic exercise class. Even energetic house or yard work like gardening, raking, mopping or vacuuming can make a difference.  Naval Hospital Jacksonville and Naval Air Station Jacksonville offer numerous classes and programs to help: 

  • Military and DoD civilians can use the base gym for free. Contractors can use the gym for $20 a month.
  • Walk to Run at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Naval Air Station Jacksonville track.  
  • Activities such as 5K runs take place at Naval Air Station Jacksonville on a regular basis.  On Feb. 11, there will be a Valentines 5K at 11 a.m. at the Naval Air Station Antenna Farm.
  • Naval Air Station Fitness Center’s new Fight to Be Fit Challenge for active duty begins Feb. 20.

Before undertaking any new exercise program, be sure to talk to your doctor. For more information about fitness programs, call Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s Wellness Center at 904-542-5292.

(Part three will post on Monday, Jan. 17.)