Dietitian gives Soldiers information to chew on
Maj. Kelli Metzger, a dietitian with 10th Combat Support Hospital and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, gives a class on basic nutrition in the FOB Delta troop medical clinic recently.

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELTA, Iraq - The human body needs fuel to perform its necessary tasks. Choosing the best fuel can be difficult for deployed Soldiers who don't always have nutrition labels to read.

Major Kelli Metzger, 10th Combat Support Hospital dietitian, visited FOB Delta recently to teach nutrition classes and give individual counseling to Soldiers who wanted to boost their ability to keep fit.

Metzger's basic class focuses on the "new" food pyramid developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The pyramid, which was updated in 2005, has the food groups shown vertically instead of horizontally, to better reflect that each group is important but in varying amounts, Metzger said. It also now shows a character walking up steps, which has two meanings to Metzger, who works at Walter Reed Army Medical Center when not deployed.

"It shows exercise, but it also means to take things one step at a time," said Metzger. Completely redoing one's diet would be hard to maintain, but if a Soldier adds a fruit or vegetable to his plate at every meal or drinks one less can of soda a day, he'll increase his health and be able to make more changes.

Metzger also urged Soldiers to not cut calories drastically. Doing so will slow the metabolism and actually cause a person to gain weight because the body goes into starvation mode, trying to hold on to as many calories as it can.

An easy way to tackle the dining facility is to take advantage of the sectioned plates for portion control, Metzger said. Soldiers should put vegetables and fruit in the big section of the plate, and use the smaller quarters for their meat and starches.

Metzger plans to return to return to FOB Delta, after visiting other outposts of the 10th CSH.

Page last updated Mon April 27th, 2009 at 13:07