By John Agwunobi, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., chief health and nutrition officer, Herbalife Nutrition
April 14 2017
In recent years, the medical community and public health officials in the United States and around the world have been emphasizing the importance of healthy eating patterns and regular exercise to support overall wellness.
The 2015-2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) call for Americans to consume more fruits and vegetables, legumes (beans and peas), whole grains and a variety of protein-rich foods (including soy products), while limiting saturated fats and trans fats, added sugars and sodium.
Despite the continued emphasis on the importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise, communities across the country are grappling with how to implement these diet and lifestyle recommendations. There is an urgent need to equip people with the information and support they need to put healthy eating and increased physical activity into practice.
Herbalife Nutrition Clubs
Herbalife Nutrition is committed to furthering community-based efforts to improve public health. Herbalife Nutrition Clubs provide community members with nutrition and fitness education, social support and products for general health, sports performance and weight management. Nutrition clubs are owned and operated by independent distributors of Herbalife Nutrition® products and there are more than 6,200 in the U.S.
Herbalife Nutrition is dedicated to helping people at the community level overcome the hurdles of everyday life that prevent them from achieving their nutrition and fitness goals. A recently published scientific pilot study by Tufts University*, looking at 100 individuals, studied the impact of clubs. The study, the first in a planned series, used both subjective and objective health measures to compare club members to a group of community-matched controls.
Study participants were predominantly female and Hispanic. Club members reported being in better health compared to a year ago when compared to controls (86% NC vs. 32% CC). And club members also reported greater perceived health, better sleep habits and less emotional eating. Notably, club members had better overall cardiometabolic health as measured by objective clinical data.
These findings suggest that club membership is positively correlated with perceived and overall cardiometabolic health. However, further studies are needed to definitively demonstrate that club membership improves health over time.
Planning for a larger longitudinal study is underway.
*BMC Public Health (Sai Krupa Das, Taylor A. Vail, Namibia Lebrón-Torres, Kara A. Livingston, Susan B. Roberts, Gail T. Rogers, Cheryl H. Gilhooly, Lorien E. Urban, Edward Saltzman, Nicola M. McKeown and Sara C. Folta).